Though Vincent Van Gogh lived more than 115 years ago, he is perhaps best remembered for popularizing a style that altered the way artists perceive beauty, persona and the ability to be individualistic on canvas. In a feverish burst of creativity, Vincent Van Gogh was able to create thousands of oil paintings and drawings whose characteristics have become the source of thousands of attempts to duplicate his art and style.
Originating in France in the 19th century’s last quarter, the impressionist art movement of which Van Gogh was part of came about as a reaction to the strict rules and traditional art of the day. A group of disgruntled artists revolted against the French Academy of Fine Arts and the annual exhibition called the Salon. Thus, the Impressionist movement was born.
After moving to Paris in 1886, the impressionists’ of the day heavily influenced Vincent Van Gogh, and his dark-colored scheme of painting gave way to a bright new palette of brilliant and lively colors. Van Gogh had a nervous temperament, which made him difficult to work with. Long late-night discussions about art and and painting all day served to undermine his health. As a result he left for Arles with Paul Gauguin, a friend, and dreamed of opening his own art school. The move proved disastrous, which forced Gauguin to leave. Pursuing Gauguin with a razor in a fit of madness, Van Gogh accidentally cut off a portion of his own ear.
The Birth of Modern Art
With his unique brushwork and free-flowing use of vibrating colors and fluid movement of his brush, he set the stage for evoking emotion through the distortion of reality. His technique placed the focus of the viewer on the subject matter itself. It was this approach, more than anything else that influenced the artists of his day and those that would follow.
Vincent Van Gogh’s effect on modern art resulted from the following:
A joining of style and content resulting in a dramatic, imaginative and emotional application of paint to the canvas. A personal temperament that symbolizes and romanticizes an acceptable image of the tortured artist who strives to get his or her work accepted. The impulsive use of colors to express emotions that are subjective in nature
Van Gogh’s Troubled Life
It is hard to mention Vincent Van Gogh paintings without touching upon his troubled life. He failed at everything he attempted. One can even say he failed at art during his lifetime since he was only able to sell one painting. He had epilepsy, which was partly caused by the injurious habit of licking his paintbrushes clean. Vincent Van Gogh also suffered from the hot sun of Arles, France, which eventually drove him insane.
His life was tragic for the most part, but the legacy he left behind for modern art may well endure throughout the ages.