Vincent van Gogh, one of the best-known Post-Impressionist artists, for whom color was the main symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands, on March 30, 1853.
Van Gogh’s best works were produced in less than three years in a technique that became increasingly passionate about brushwork, symbolic and intense color, surface tension, and the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh’s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative and emotional, because the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain his struggle against madness or his understanding of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
Despite his lack of success during his lifetime, Van Gogh’s legacy lives on as he left a lasting impact on the art world. Van Gogh is now seen as one of the most influential artists who helped lay the foundation for modern art.
The most famous works of art by Vincent Van Gogh:
1. The Bedroom, 1888
While in Arles, Van Gogh made this painting of his bedroom in the Yellow House. He set up the room himself with simple furniture and his own work on the wall. Bright colors were meant to express absolute “rest” or “dream.” Research shows that the strongly contrasting colors we see at work today are the result of fading over the years. The walls and doors, for example, were originally purple instead of blue. Meanwhile, the seemingly odd angle of the rear wall is not a mistake on Van Gogh’s part: the corner really was skewed. The rules of perspective appear not to have been precisely applied throughout the painting, but this was a deliberate choice. Vincent told Theo in a letter that he had deliberately “flattened” the interior and omitted shadows to make his image resemble a Japanese print. Van Gogh was very satisfied with the painting: “When I saw my canvases again after my illness, what seemed best to me was the bedroom.”
2. Starry Night, 1889
Vincent van Gogh painted The Starry Night in 1889 while staying at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, near Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Van Gogh lived well in the hospital; he was granted more liberties than any of the other patients. If he is treated, he could leave the hospital grounds; he was allowed to paint, read, and retire to his own room. They even gave him a study. Although he suffered from an occasional relapse into paranoia and seizures, having been officially diagnosed with epileptic seizures, it seemed that his mental health was on the mend. Unfortunately, he relapsed. He began to hallucinate and have suicidal thoughts as he sank into depression. Consequently, there was a tonal shift in his work. He brought back the darker colors from the beginning of his career and Starry Night is a wonderful example of that change. Blue dominates the painting, mixing hills with the sky. The small town is at the base of the painting in browns, grays and blues. Although each building is clearly outlined in black, the yellow and white of the stars and moon stand out against the sky, drawing eyes skyward. They are the great attention grabber of the painting.
3. Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890
The Portrait of Doctor Gachet is one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings. It is remarkable for several reasons. It was painted in the last months of Vincent’s life, and the subject has been the focus of much controversy. How competent was Dr. Gachet? What did Vincent mean when he wrote to Theo “First of all, he is sicker than I am, I think, or should we say the same”
4. The Potato Eaters, 1885
Van Gogh saw the Potato Eaters as a masterpiece, so he deliberately chose a difficult composition to show that he was on his way to becoming a good figure painter. The painting had to represent the harsh reality of country life, so he gave the peasants rugged faces and bony, hard-working hands. He wanted to demonstrate in this way that “they themselves have tilled the land with these hands that they are putting on the plate… that this is how they have honestly earned their food.”
He painted the five figures in earth colors: “something like the color of a very dusty potato, unpeeled, of course.” The message of the painting was more important to Van Gogh than correct anatomy or technical perfection. He was very pleased with the result: however, his painting received considerable criticism because his colors were too dark and the figures were full of errors. Today, The Potato Eaters is one of Van Gogh’s most famous works.
5. At Eternity’s Gate, 1890
At Eternity’s Gate is an oil painting by Vincent van Gogh that he did in 1890 in Saint-Remy de Provence based on an old lithograph. The painting was completed in early May at a time when he was convalescing from a serious relapse in his health and some two months before his death, generally accepted as a suicide.
6. Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888
This painting of a colorful view outdoors is a picturesque work, the vision of a relaxed viewer enjoying the charm of his surroundings without any moral concerns. Remember Van Gogh’s mood when he wrote that “the night is more alive and with more colors than the day”. The color is more profuse and the eye wanders to the steep or dovetailed edges of the neighboring areas: irregular shapes fitted together like the pattern of a puzzle. Dividing this space for a long time into a large object and background subjects is hard on the eyes; the distant and nearer parts are equally distinct. The yellow of the cafe plays with the blackish blue of the remote street and the violet blue of the door in the foreground, and, through a paradox of composition that helps to unify the work, at the strongest point of contrast the closest blunt corner of the awning. we touch the distant blue sky. Foreshortened lines that push into depth, like the door lintel, are strictly parallel to lines like the slope of the yellow awning and the roof of the house above, which lie in planes perpendicular to the first. For this wandering and uncompromising vision, the upward dimension is no less important and expressive than depth.
7. Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, 1889
Vincent van Gogh is instantly recognizable for his reddish hair and beard, gaunt features, and intense gaze. Van Gogh painted some 36 self-portraits in the space of just ten years. Perhaps only Rembrandt produced more, and his career spanned decades. For many artists, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, the self-portrait was a critical exploration of personal fulfillment and aesthetic achievement.
8. Irises, 1889
Van Gogh painted this still life in the Saint-Remy psychiatric hospital. For him painting was primarily a study in colour. He set out to achieve a powerful color contrast. By placing the purple flowers on a yellow background, he made the decorative shapes stand out even more. The irises were originally purple in color. But as the red pigment has faded, they have turned blue. Van Gogh made two paintings of this bouquet. In the other still life, contrast the purple and pink with the green.
9. The Yellow House, 1888
In May 1888, Van Gogh rented four rooms in a house on Place Lamartine in Arles (south of France). The green shutters of this picture of the square show where he lived. Shortly after moving into the “Yellow House,” he sent Theo a description and sketch of his painting: “It’s tremendous, these yellow houses in the sunlight and then the incomparable coolness of the blue.”
The work, which Van Gogh himself called “The Street”, records the artist’s immediate surroundings: he often ate at the restaurant on the left, and the house of his friend, the postman Joseph Roulin, was just beyond the second bridge. of the railway. Vincent had finally found a place in the Yellow House where he could not only paint, but also have his friends come to stay. His plan was to turn the yellow building on the corner into an artists’ house, where like-minded painters could live and work together.
10. The Night Cafe, 1888
Van Gogh’s Night Cafe was painted in September 1888 while he was living in Arles. Earlier in the year he had moved into a room in the Cafe de la Gare, where the room depicted in this painting was. Van Gogh stayed there for a few months over the summer while he furnished what would become known as “The Yellow House”, where he would live with Gauguin for a brief time.
In the center of the canvas, Van Gogh shows an unused pool table. We see 3 walls of the room with a door opposite the viewer. The walls are lined with tables and chairs, some occupied by figures hunched over the tables. Most of the six figures are men, but there is a woman at a table. Standing near the pool table, leaning against another table, is a standing figure dressed in white, the owner of the cafe. On the back wall, next to the door, there is a bar with bottles on top and a vase of flowers in the middle. Van Gogh’s exaggerated perspective creates disorienting angles and results in most of the painting being filled with the deep yellow floor. The walls are a deep red, which contrasts with the yellow floors and the yellow lights that hang from the ceiling.