January 15, 2010

An End to the Myth of the Tortured Soul??

Overall a well written and intelligent article. However there are several errors. "His best paintings were produced in the last 15 months of his life which he spent in Arles where he went to live in 1888...and at nearby St. Remy where he spent a year at a mental institution." He spent 15 months in Arles (2/88 to 5/89) where he did indeed produce most of his best paintings, but the last 15 months of his life was spent at St.Remy (12 months) and Auvers sur Oise, (2 1/2 months.) Vincent did some excellent work at St. Remy and nothing exceptional at Auvers, so he did not produce his best work in his final 15 months. "Italian art didn't get a look-in." Not true. He referred several times to Raphael and several others whom he didn't care for, primarily because he found their work rather cold and because they were totally unable to depict workers who really worked. However, he absolutely adored Michaelangelo, because his figures depicted, not reality, but hyper reality.

Regarding Theo's support of Vincent, I agree that Vincent would never have been able to achieve what he did without his support. However, Vincent and Theo came to an agreement in 1882 whereby Theo would send Vincent money and in return he would get to keep all of Vincent's work and and do with it what he pleased. Certainly this was not a handout but reasonable recompense. Finally, the title of this article is totally misleading since there is nothing in it that indicates that Van Gogh was not a tortured soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment