Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionist painters. The near spiritual excitement of his swirling brushwork, contoured forms and intense colour has had a powerful influence on the development of modern painting.
Find below a look at five great works by Van Gogh.
And go to our profile of Paperblanks’ Van Gogh journal to learn about our unique tribute to the great artist.
1. The Starry Night (1889)
The Starry Night is widely thought to be Van Gogh’s greatest painting. Ironically Van Gogh was completely unhappy with the finished work. In a letter to his brother, Van Gogh explained that most of it “says nothing to me, because it lacks individual intention and feeling in the lines.”
It depicts the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – a commune in the south of France – at night.
2. Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888)
This painting depicts another night-time commune in the south of France, Arles. Explaining his need to paint the stars he once wrote:
“… it does me good to do what’s difficult. That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word — for religion — so I go outside at night to paint the stars.'”
3. Café Terrace at Night (1888)
Café Terrace at Night portrays a café terrace in Arles. It’s the first in his trilogy of paintings that featuring starry nights. He would paint the the more famous Starry Night (see above) a year later.
Interestingly, the café terrace in this painting still exists today but is now known as the Café Van Gogh.
4. Sunflowers series (1888)
Van Gogh painted two famous series of works that concerned sunflowers. The second series – one of which is depicted below – portrays bouquets of sunflowers in vases. At the time these paintings’ use of yellow were an innovation. New colour possibilities were just made possible by the invention of new pigments.
5. Almond Blossoms (1890)
Part of another floral-themed series by Van Gogh, Almond Blossoms was painted by Van Gogh in celebration after he received news of the birth of his brothers’ son. Writing to his mother, Vincent explained
“How glad I was when the news came… I started right away to make a picture for [the boy], to hang in their bedroom, big branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky.”
To Van Gogh blossoming trees personified awakening and hope.