“Where Van Gogh Breathes the Stars …”
Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in the Dutch village of Grot-Sundert, in the family of a rural pastor. Little Vincent was taciturn and gloomy, did not like to play with his brothers and sisters. The character was hectic, even sometimes explosive. He loved to walk, watching the life of insects, was not afraid to go to the forest alone. He collected herbarium, collected beetles and insects. At 8, he began to draw. He sketched peasant women and plowmen, animals and landscapes.
At 12, Vincent was sent to study in a boarding school. He came home only on vacation. Vincent became very attached to Theo’s younger brother, they often walked together.
When Van Gogh turned 16 years old, it was decided at the family council that he would go to work as a seller of paintings in a branch of the Gupil company selling paintings.
Van Gogh was hardworking, conscientious and neat – an exemplary employee. He knew all the paintings and reproductions, deftly unfurled and folded canvases. The company “Gupil” took on commission only those paintings that were highly valued in the market. Young Vincent liked to visit museums, studied the paintings of great artists.
“This is a great thing,” he wrote of his work, “the longer you serve, the better you want to work.”
In 1873, Gupil transferred Van Gogh with a promotion to the London branch.
“Find beauty wherever you can; most people don’t always notice beauty,” he wrote to Theo’s brother.
In London, Van Gogh was happy: he visits museums, art galleries, antique shops. In the city of Dickens, Van Gogh found his first love – Ursula Luaye. But Vincent was very timid and awkward, did not know how to express his love. Daring, he made a proposal to his beloved, but she refused, she was already engaged to another. It was a real blow for Van Gogh. He went to his parents on vacation, where he smoked a pipe all day and did not leave the room. Even when he went to work, he remained as gloomy and irritable. Vincent was plunged into hopeless despair, constantly delving into himself – why Ursula rejected him.
The void in the soul of the young artist was filled by the church – “Everything speaks of the goodness of those who have loved the Lord.” Van Gogh wrote and read sermons, translated excerpts from the Bible. The artist decides to enter the theological faculty of the University of Amsterdam. After 15 months of training, he is transferred to a missionary school and later gets the post of preacher in the mining town of Borinazh. The mining town looked creepy – twisted vegetation, thorny bushes, miners black from soot, descended into the mine, endangering their lives. Not working – poverty and hunger awaited them. This was the worst period in Van Gogh’s life. He tried to live ascetically as well, starving, descending into the mines to the miners. A distinctive feature of the work of this period is a dark and gloomy palette, an image of the life of ordinary peasants. The artist was sure that it is impossible to convey the life of ordinary people with the help of bright colors. Tried to demand from the company that owned the mines, a hospital for miners. He participated actively in strikes. The synodal Committee did not like such scandalous activity; a decision was made to relieve Van Gogh from his post. It could be taken as a new blow of fate, but Van Gogh began to draw. Eagerly, one after another, he made sketches from the life of miners.
A character was characteristic of Van Gogh’s character – he always believed in the best, expected a favorable change.
“I try my best to see in everything at first the undeniably good side and only then, with extreme reluctance, I also notice the bad side.”
Becoming an artist
In 1880, Van Gogh entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, but he did not study there for long. Later, Van Gogh takes lessons from the artist Anton Mauve, who put his hand to the young Van Gogh. Van Gogh did not always have money even to buy canvases, so he resorted to tricks: using a roller, he applied a layer of soil to a paper sheet, the granular structure of which after drying resembled woven threads, and then pasted the finished composition onto a wooden board. Painting captures Van Gogh again. He works tirelessly.
“My goal is to learn to draw not a hand, but a gesture, not a mathematically correct head, but general expression. For example, be able to show how a digger raises his head when he takes a breath or talks. In short, show life. ”
The artist gives his heroes of paintings special emotional tension – he sympathizes with them, sharing their fate. Van Gogh believed that the masterpieces of great masters, become such only when their creators are driven by love for people. He sketched a lot with a pencil.
In 1883, Van Gogh turned 30 years old. Increasingly, light blue and yellow shades began to appear in the works of the master. He was not yet familiar with the work of the Impressionists, but he was already intuitively approaching a new direction in painting: he used a wide brush for work, applied a very dense layer of paint.
The bright work of this period is Onion Fields.