Artist Deep Dive: Vincent van Gogh

Artist Deep Dive: Vincent van Gogh

More Than Sunflowers

Everyone knows bits and pieces about the ginger one-eared artist, Vincent van Gogh. We toy with the rumour of him mailing his ear to an ex-lover and know he struggled immensely with his mental health. There are even suspicions that he may have covered up the true cause to his own untimely death. His life and death are a bit of an enigma despite being one of the most famous artist to ever live. That might be part of the reason his pieces are still so captivating and surprising to us. How can so much colour and wonder be portrayed by a man who seems so troubled?

We were inspired to write this because of a quote from Doctor Who, oddly enough. It keeps popping up on our Instagram feed, so let's talk about it.

Bill Nighy in Doctor Who Season 5, Episode 10: Vincent and the Doctor

" me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again." [Bill Nighy as Art Curator. Doctor Who: Season 5, Ep. 10]


Garden with Courting Couples by Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh was born in March of 1853, in the Netherlands, and died in July of 1890, in France. He is widely considered the greatest post-impressionist artist of all time. His use of colour and brushwork continue to influence Expressionists to this day, including Matisse, Gaugin and Pollock.

Sprig of Flowering Almond in a Glass

Genuinely - though we know folks are sick of hearing about Starry Night - we believe the popularity of Van Gogh comes from a deep seated place within us. Without knowing very much about him or diving into his struggles or his past, there are things the brush can say that words cannot. Devoid of context, his pieces still tell the story of a man, perhaps a bit lonely, more than a bit quirky, who just saw the world differently and also knew that so too do we all.

With that, happy birth-month, Vincent. And to all of you: thank you for reading this deep-dive. If there's an artist you love that you'd like to see featured, let us know!

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