Not Just a Man, Not Just Artwork

“There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”— Vincent Van Gogh

Today’ in the fast paced and highly technical world that we live in’ most things are not awe-inspiring for very long because something bigger and better comes along to replace it. The striking thing about Vincent Van Gogh is that more than one hundred years after his death’ his paintings and his life are still of great interest. Whenever beautiful art is mentioned’ the name Vincent Van Gogh isn’t too far behind’ and rightly so. In a world where there’s always something new on the hori2on’ it’s nothing short of awesome that Vincent’s work stays so vivid’ known’ and well respected. In the entire world’ in the passing of more than a hundred years’ there has not been another Vincent Van Gogh.

The fame that Vincent’s work has achieved is ironic when you consider that Vincent Van Gogh was truly the starving artist type’ never having made much money at all and earning hardly any respect for his talents while alive. While there are differing reports’ its thought that Vincent only really sold one painting while he was alive’ yet today his paintings are selling for millions of dollars. Many collectors can only dream of owning a Van Gogh painting’ and most artists can only ever imagine his works having their own museum. It’s ironic that when he was alive Vincent was often laughed at’ mocked’ and treated like an amateur. No one’ not even Vincent’ could have predicted this sort of worldwide exposure.

While many have tried to take a look at the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh’ it simply cannot be done without looking at the man he was. While you might be able to approach other artists with a sort of sterile or uncomplicated look at the works’ it just is not possible with Van Gogh’ who put himself into every color’ every brush stroke’ and every detail of every sketch or painting he ever did. In fact’ you cannot do his work justice’ without looking at who Vincent Van Gogh was’ where he came from’ and what inspired him.

Each painting done by Van Gogh was emotion; it was some sort of deep expression full of symbolism’ happiness’ and complete anguish. For a real representation of any one piece of Van Gogh artwork or a whole collection’ Van Gogh has to be looked at not only as an artist’ but also a man. Though we may not be able to really ever know this man’ he was interesting’ complicated’ and experienced things that we can all relate to’ and then he put them into beautiful form.
Each of Vincent’s works is completely different’ and while some of his pieces have known inspiration’ others have no explanation at all. As Vincent Van Gogh went about his life he experimented with different techniques and even schools of thought’ but even through that you can look through the top layer and really see a man behind his works. Perhaps that is why Van Gogh is one of the most well known artists in all the world’ because even if you are not an art buff’ you are drawn to his pictures’ because there is a piece of each of us in them.

There are a lot of artists’ painters and not’ that have beautiful work’ but none that inspire and just seem to draw you in like that of Vincent Van Gogh. Though many people believe that Van Gogh was simply cra2y’ there is something about the emotion that is in each piece of work that makes it something we all want to look at and really remember’ and makes us appreciate the man he was’ cra2y or not.

“That head of his has been occupied with contemporary society’s insoluble problems for so long, and he is still battling on with his good-heartedness and boundless energy. His efforts have not been in vain, but he will probably not live to see them come to fruition, for by the time people understand what he is saying in his paintings it will be too late. He is one of the most advanced painters and it is difficult to understand him, even for me who knows him so intimately. His ideas cover so much ground, examining what is humane and how one should look at the world, that one must first free oneself from anything remotely linked to convention to understand what he was trying to say, but I am sure he will be understood later on. It is just hard to say when.”
—Theo Van Gogh to his sister on Vincent Van Gogh




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