Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Top 10 Paintings | ‘Starry Night Over the Rhône’ by Vincent van Gogh

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Vincent van Gogh (1853–90) is without a doubt one of the most famous artists of the Western world. The record auction prices achieved for his paintings, fuelled by the desire to own a part of this troubled soul, are now legendary. In a letter to his sister Willemina, Van Gogh wrote: ‘Often it seems to me night is even more richly coloured than day’, something which is evinced in his beautiful night painting Starry Night Over the Rhône (1888).

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Post-impressionism

Top 10 Painters | Vincent van Gogh

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Vincent Van Gogh – the man, the legend and the artist – has become all but lost in propagated myths and romantic visions. He is perceived as the ‘mad artist’, the man who painted in a frenzy, the tormented soul, the artist who cut off his ear – all partially true – but factors that have nonetheless suffocated the actuality of an intelligent and reasoned man.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Vincent van Gogh, Post-impressionism

Art Movements | Symbolism, Fauvism, Expressionism

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

 Art in the twentieth century, like the social environment in which it was produced, underwent a process of constant and rapid change. Painting in Europe no longer had to represent external reality through a series of pictorial conventions – historical events could be accurately recorded instead through the newer media of photography and film. Changes in the structure of the art market, too, away from the grand public ‘Salons’ to a system of private galleries and collectors, meant that paintings could be smaller, more personal and more experimental. Artists could respond to the changing reality around them and could also aim to be ‘modern’: to produce paintings that were innovative and exciting, full of radical new effects and new meanings.

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Topics: Edvard Munch, Vincent van Gogh, modern art, art movements

Four Stories About Four Master Artists That You Might Not Know | Masterpieces of Art

Posted by Matt Knight

Often when we think of artists, we think of their major works. But aside from the impact they may have had on the art world, how much do we really know about these important figures? Today’s blog take a quick tour of four master artists, recounting a few interesting details from their early lives that you might not have know… 

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Topics: Alphonse Mucha, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Erte, Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh and Nature | Masterpieces of Art

Posted by Josie Mitchell

Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) was an unbelievable artist, who had an incredible relationship with nature. He was able to capture the essence of the flowers, trees, fields and any natural landscape that he was painting, as well as the feelings it evoked in him. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts is holding an exhibition on Van Gogh and Nature until the 13th September. In celebration, we are going to explore some of Van Gogh's most impressive natural works

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Masterpieces of Art

Vincent van Gogh: The Anniversary of a Master

Posted by Matt Knight

Summer is in full swing, which means there is plenty of time to fully enjoy the numerous museums and galleries around England. But this July art lovers should draw their attention to one artist in particular: Vincent van Gogh. For reasons bigger than the general appreciation of his incredible artwork, July 29th brings a bigger celebration: the 125th anniversary of Gogh’s death and incredibly memorable career.

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Masterpieces of Art

Van Gogh's 125 Legacy | Masterpieces of Art

Posted by Matt Knight

2015 marks the 125th anniversary of the death of beloved, world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh. Through in his life he was little known, he has become hailed as one of the greatest Dutch painters, after Rembrandt. Similarly to today’s celebrities, it is impossible to separate van Gogh’s troubled life from his works of art. He suffered from severe mental illnesses and relied on the creation of his art as a means of keeping his illness at bay.

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Masterpieces of Art

Masterpieces of Art: Van Gogh's Sunflowers

Posted by Catherine Taylor

Vincent Willem van Gogh, is now one of the most respected and well-known artists in the world. He is known for his post-impressionist paintings with bold colours that evoke an honest emotional reaction; self portraits, landscapes, cypresses and sunflowers are some of the most memorable subjects of the 2,100 works he completed in his short lifetime. Many of his most well-known pieces were completed in the last two years of his life, while he was suffering from severe mental illness. But of course, at the time, his work was only known to a small number of people (and appreciated by fewer still). It is an absolute tragedy that he died not knowing what the reaction to his work would eventually be, and how much pleasure he would give people all over the world. There is no doubt that his astounding artistic skill as well as his troubled life have touched millions. Today is the anniversary of his death and so I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at his brilliant Sunflowers, his life in letters and his death. 

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh

Masterpieces of Art: Starry Night over the Rhone

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Starry Night Over the Rhone is a culmination of the artistic genius of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). Though lesser known than its later counterpart, The Starry Night, the night sky had been haunting Van Gogh ever since he moved to Arles in February 1888. He moved in order to satiate his yearning to experience the colours of the South after living in Paris for many years. It would seem he found those colours in the night sky. In a letter to his sister Willemina, he said ‘Often it seems to me night is even more richly coloured than day.’ The sky is Prussian blue, ultramarine and cobalt, with sparking yellow gaslights and stars.

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh's Letters: The Bedroom

Posted by Esme Chapman

Throughout his life Van Gogh wrote many letters to his friends, family and fellow artists. In these letters he often discussed his own artworks, and one such example regards Van Gogh’s 1888 oil painting The Bedroom, which he discusses in a letter to his brother Theo, shown below:

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Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Masterpieces of Art, art calendars

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