Vincent van Gogh - Sunflowers, 1887

Vincent van Gogh
Sunflowers, 1887
oil on canvas, 17 x 24 in. (43.2 x 61 cm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1949

Vincent van Gogh - Field with Flowers near Arles, 1888

Vincent van Gogh
Field with Flowers near Arles, 1888
oil on canvas, 54 X 65 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh's immersion into nature shown in Philadelphia



'Van Gogh Up Close', a major exhibition organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Canada, presents a group of the artist’s most daring and innovative works that broke with the past and dramatically altered the course of modern painting.

February 1 — May 6, 2012

Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art / theartwolf.com

“I… am always obliged to go and gaze at a blade of grass, a pine-tree branch, an ear of wheat, to calm myself,” Vincent van Gogh wrote in a letter to his sister, Wilhemina, in July of 1889. An artist of exceptional intensity, not only in his use of color and exuberant application of paint but also in his personal life, van Gogh was powerfully and passionately drawn to nature.

Made between 1886 and 1890 in Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy, and Auvers, the works in the exhibition concentrate on an important and previously overlooked aspect of van Gogh’s work: “close-ups” that bring familiar subjects such as landscape elements, still lifes, and flowers into the extreme foreground of the composition or focus on them in ways that are entirely unexpected and without precedent. These landscapes and still lifes have not previously been seen together or identified before as critical to our understanding of van Gogh’s artistic achievement.

The exhibition will feature over 70 works, including 46 paintings by van Gogh and more than 30 comparative works such as Japanese woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige and Hayashi Roshü; European prints and drawings by Jean Corot, Camille Pissarro, and Jacob Ruisdael; and photographs by Frederick Evans, August Kotzsch, and others. Van Gogh was an avid collector of Japanese and European prints and drawings by artists whose aesthetic devices served as sources of inspiration for him.

“Van Gogh Up Close explores an important facet of van Gogh’s work that underscores his importance as a path-finding modern artist,” comments Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “In seeking to share the intensity of his emotional response to the world around him as directly as possible, van Gogh took the traditional methods making pictures and changed the rules.”



Related content

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night - MoMA (exhibition, 2008 - 2009)


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