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Expressive Art Essay
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| Words: 2075 | Submitted: 03-Feb-2012
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Expressive Art Essay
I have researched into two works of art, ‘Self Portrait’ by Vincent Van Gogh, and Portrait of ‘Madame Matisse’, by Henri Matisse. Both are portraits painted oil on canvas. My aim was to analyse the life and work of these two dominate characters. Each artist was different, bringing something new and exciting to the world of art. I intend to examine these two very different portraits and give my own thoughts and opinions about their work.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 in the Netherlands. It was not until around 1875 Vincent van Gogh found his true passion, and decided to become an artist.
Van Gogh painted over 1000 paintings in his lifetime. He may be considered as one of the most famous artists of the late 19th century but he himself only sold one painting in his entire life. For most of his life, Vincent was an outcast, with little or sometimes no money.
In May 1889, he admitted himself into a mental asylum in France, shortly afterwards on 27th July 1890 Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself in the stomach.
I believe Van Gogh was an emotional man and lacked self-confidence. He was troubled, schizophrenic, or bipolar. Although his mind was psychotic, I think it certainly did not affect his work in a bad way, if anything it only enhanced it. Painting was an ideal occupation for him, as he could truly be himself and express his feelings.
He fits into the post-impressionism era in which artists used heavy brush strokes and concentrated on painting with emotion. Post-impressionism is a branch off impressionism. The difference is that post-impressionists concentrated on emotions and the use of colour to portray them. They did not worry as much about light and how realistic their paintings were.
I am studying, ’Self-portrait’ by Vincent Van Gogh, 65x54cm. I imagine the painting to be around the size of A2. The portrait was painted at the end of summer 1889 in Paris, around a year before he died.
Van Gogh is sitting in the centre of the canvas, with his eyes looking straight towards you. I feel this to be slightly ominous looking and convey the idea of Vincent feeling troubled and worried. The way in which his eyebrows look deeply furrowed adds to the distressed look. This painting does not have any distortions as such and all the shapes seem true to life.
I think the lines and shapes within the portrait are of an organic nature, and very few straight lines are used. I feel this is another hint that he was trying to show confusion and worry in his work. The lines and brushstroke of the background are curved ...
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