Photography

Ten of the Most Celebrated Van Gogh Paintings

Although not successful during his lifetime, the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh went to become one of the world’s most known and acclaimed artists of all time. Van Gogh paintings continue to amaze audiences for their sheer energy of brushstrokes and vibrancy of color.

The Potato Eaters (1885)

“The Potato Eaters” is certainly one of the most important early van Gogh pieces. It was made before the artist developed his famous vibrant color palette. Here, he employed a somber and earthy color scheme. Theme-wise, the artwork was influenced by genre painting and Realist art, showing the everyday lives of the working class.

Van Gogh Paintings

Vincent van Gogh – The Potato Eaters

Starry Night (1889)

Created a year after “Starry Night Over the Rhone”, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is a depiction, created from memory, of the night view from his sanatorium window in Southern France. The artist’s rendering of star-lit skies was a cathartic self-treatment process when care given for mental disorders was primitive at best. It’s surely one of the most known Vincent van Gogh pictures.

Vincent van Gogh – Starry Night

The Bedroom (1889)

“The Bedroom” is one of the most iconic paintings produced by Van Gogh, depicting his room in Arles. This artwork is regarded as one of the most innovative Post-Impressionist paintings, for the painter creates an unusual perspective, completely ignoring any academic principle. The subject of everyday life is common in van Gogh pieces, and he was able to convey a very lonely but still cozy environment.

Considered one of his best artworks, the composition shows simple figures of objects and furniture displayed in his room. The bed is large, portrayed with an exaggerated proportion to elude depth. Van Gogh includes his paintings on the wall and, what seems to be, framed Japanese prints from his personal collection.

Vincent van Gogh – Bedroom

Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

“Irises” was painted in the sanatorium in Saint-Remy after van Gogh’s notorious self-mutilation and numerous mental breakdowns. Influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, “Irises” was one of the first pieces he began upon being admitted to the asylum. Like his Almond Tree artworks, “Irises” is an experiential reproduction of the artist’s mental state, melding the vivid contrasts of Impressionism with the agitated mood swings of his Arles landscapes.

Vincent van Gogh – Cafe Terrace at Night

Irises (1889)

The artist painted Irises in the sanatorium in Saint-Remy after his notorious self-mutilation and numerous mental breakdowns. Influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, Irises was one of the first pieces he began upon being admitted to the asylum. Like his Almond Tree artworks, Irises is an experiential reproduction of the artist’s mental state, melding the vivid contrasts of Impressionism with the agitated mood swings of his Arles landscapes.

Vincent van Gogh – Irises

Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890)

Vincent Van Gogh signed himself into an asylum in 1889 after having a mental breakdown. His health was feeble, stating that he was not eating much in letters to his family.

Van Gogh’s brother Theo wished to help him start anew by finding a good home and physician. Dr. Paul Gachet was recommended by Camille Pissarro, as the doctor was fascinated by modern artists and had a great affinity for working with them. At first, Van Gogh thought Dr. Gachet was as gruesome as he was, uttering in a letter to his brother that he could not realize how he could get help from somebody who needs it as fine. However, after getting to know each other, both became great friends, as the artist saw their physical and mental resemblance as something positive.

Vincent van Gogh – Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Wheatfields with Crows (1890)

Wheatfield with Crows is a turbulent and intense painting completed during the last period of van Gogh’s life. It’s often thought that it represents van Gogh’s depressive state. However, recent studies show that several van Gogh pieces of the time show the artist was apparently in high spirits after his move to Auvers-sur-Oise in May 1890. The painting is not a simple reproduction of Van Gogh’s depressive state, as is often claimed.

Like many of his landscapes, “Wheatfield With Crows” is a complex piece. The artist described the painting as a depiction of the health and restorative forces he saw in the country. Obviously, the painting is anything but a suicide note.

Vincent van Gogh – Wheatfield with Crows

Self-Portrait III (1889)

Van Gogh art is known for powerful self-portraits, and the artist produced almost forty in ten years. This frenetic production was due to two main factors: the artist was not financially stable to afford models. The second factor was the decline of his mental and psychological health, which often led to him being socially isolated and admitted to hospitals.

Vincent van Gogh – Self-Portrait III

Olive Trees, Yellow Sky and Sun (1889)

Created in 1889, the last year of van Gogh’s life, “Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun” captures olive trees of the Provence countryside that captivated his imagination and drove the creation of his most renowned artworks.

In one of the customary letters to his brother, Van Gogh paired his depictions of olive groves with the series of views of starry skies he created during the same period. He intended the olive series to be a daylight counterpart to “The Starry Night”, avoiding any adherence to photographic fidelity and stressing color patterns derived from the rhythms of nature.

Vincent van Gogh – Olive Trees, Yellow Sky and Sun

Vase with Twelve Sunflowers  (1888)

In 1888, preparing for the arrival of Paul Gaugin at his studio, van Gogh painted several sunflower still-lifes to decorate the place, originating some of the most famous series of paintings of all time.

Vincent van Gogh – Vase with Twelve Sunflowers

Conclusion

Whether making landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, or still-lifes, all van Gogh paintings show the energy, passion, and complexity of the artist’s particular view of the world around him. This article elaborated on some of the artist’s most renowned masterpieces.

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