Here is Maggie's report on Van Gogh. I really enjoy this session. Thanks Maggie .
There was a talk in February in El Morche which was repeated in Canillas in March. David is going to document the talks on our webpage so you will be able to access them at a later date.
Roger is in charge and presenting in April. In May we are going to visit the new Pompadour centre in Malaga with another visit in June. Roger is managing the group in my absence. I have given him your email addresses.
Art Appreciation - Van Gogh - The Man Behind the Myth introduced by Maggie Silwood
The subject for February (Torrox Costa group) and March (Canillas group|) was the Dutch painter , Vincent Van Gogh.
He is one of the most well known artists ever and this may be for the wrong reasons.Most people know that he cut off part of his ear and that it is believed he committed suicide. There is no doubt that he was a tortured soul and in his later life suffered from severe bouts of mental illness, yet he overcame adversity to produce some of the most wonderful, vibrant and memorable paintings. Many are notable for their rough beauty, emotional honesty and above all, their bold colour.
He was also a very well read man and throughout his life wrote hundreds of letters to his younger brother, Theo,his benefactor and closest friend, Through these letters we learn about his innermost thoughts and feelings, and above all, his passion for art.
It was not until he was in his early twenties that he began his painting career with no formal training. His main influences were the French Impressionists, Francois Millet ("The Gleaners"), Seurat (Pointillism), Japanese art and also by the light in Arles where he set up a studio with Paul Gaugin.
We watched Simon Scharmers film of Van Gogh which although rather depressing, suggested that even if he was unfulfilled in his personal life, he was a genius who expressed his joy in the ordinary objects and scenes around him.
Van Gogh painted for ordinary people rather than rich benefactors or the art establishment.
We discussed some of his most famous paintings including "The Potato Eaters", "Starry Night", "The Chair", "The Sower" and of course "The Sunflowers" and discovered that he painted prolifically and often did several canvases of the same subject.
Van Gogh is probably one of the only artists to have a popular song written about him. Don McLean's haunting melody was accompanied by a series of paintings both familiar and not so familiar and we agreed that the words captured the wonder of the subject matter perfectly.
Later in the year we hope to explore some of Van Gogh's paintings in more detail. particularly, "The Sunflowers".