• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Van Gogh - paintings and letters

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

July 27, 1890 On July 27, 1890, a red haired young man of 37 had walked out into a grassy field with his canvas, easel and oil paints. Within minutes, the crack of a revolver was heard though out the seemingly empty countryside. The birds flew up from the wheat fields and scattered, then settled back down to the stalks. Life went on just as before. Born in 1853, Van Gogh wrote approximately 847 written letters and prolifically painted throughout his life. What is relevant is the correlation in the simplest of observations of specific paintings to specific excerpts from his letter that give insight into the cycling state of his mental health. Dr. Jan Hulsker, one of the world's foremost authorities on the letters of Vincent van Gogh, once wrote of them," [His letters] enable us to know more about Van Gogh's life and mentality than we do of any other artist. The letters form a running commentary on his work, and a human document without parallel." Those letters correlated with the psychodynamics as seen in his renderings and paintings point to often blending of ground and boundary lines through his use of color and imagery ( sans clear image boundaries) ...read more.

Middle

get a clear idea of things, why I came here and that after all it is only an accident like any other, a terrible dismay and horror seizes me and prevents me from thinking." One of his paintings which exemplify his depression in the previous month was" Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital, A" and in June 1889 "Starry Night", which makes use of the cypress as does several other paintings during this time frame. There has lapsed a time frame of approximately 2 months. Bi-polar disorder cycles in a typical idiosyncratic pattern in an individual, though is lodged within a consistent time frame. If one follows this thought through the next two months in Van Gogh's behavior fluctuations in behavior may be observed, example #3 is noted in a September painting," Wheat Field with Cypresses" correlated with an excerpt in a September letter to Theo, "And I can already see myself one day in the future enjoying some small success, and missing the solitude and the anguish as I watched the reaper in the field below through the iron bars of my cell. ...read more.

Conclusion

Such changes be they longer in duration or shorter, still are consistent with this diagnosis due to the stresses he repeatedly refers to in terms of his financial stress, his inability to maintain stable relationships with anyone outside his brother, which even that was at times strained. The nature of his psychodynamics appears to be in part dependent on the biological rhythms of biochemistry and also on the situation that may have exacerbated them. It is true that it is still unknown by the psychiatric community which comes first, the disease and dysfunction within society or the environment and how we psychologically experience it at all levels, spiritual, emotional, social and physical that triggers the behavior and the disease itself. When these indicators fail to give us very important information to gain insight into unseemly behavior, it helps to then look at the non-verbal expression of the individual, that being the artwork. It is a powerful tool and in the case of Van Gogh had we had developed this expertise, he might have lived to paint longer into his shortened life, as he once stated" ah...I wonder how many more paintings there might be in me before I die. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Art & Design section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Art & Design essays

  1. Brandind the Future

    Other than Carling creating relationships with its consumers, I think the taste is also very good. There are lots of beers out there that are either too weak, too strong or have an off taste about them. Taste is more of a personal thing but I think Carling is one of the nicest tasting beers on the market.

  2. john martin paintings

    (Pod cast - Dan Graham on the paintings of John Martin- Tate.org) John Martin's use of colour helps to illustrate the dark and gloomy atmosphere of the painting. The blood - red glow casts a frightening feel over the scene as well as creating a dramatic atmosphere.

  1. Personal Study - Journeys.

    His paintings always drew out the spiritual nature of landscape, and often depicted nature at its most melancholy: lonely stretches of sea and mountains, or snowscapes bathed in strange and eerie luminosity, this demonstrates pathetic fallacy (when the landscape reflects the emotion).

  2. PERSONAL STUDY: JELLYFISH

    I even poured hot glue onto it from a glue gun which helped melt the plastic bags and also linked it to my previous work. I added colour to the glue as well which gave the piece a colourful, yet still translucent effect.

  1. Raqib Shaws work is the kind that just looks so beautiful it is impossible ...

    Shaw's paintings can take months to complete, beginning as an elaborate drawing onto tracing paper before being transferred onto wooden board, where the outlines are covered by a type of gold paint used in stained glass windows.

  2. AS Photography - Image based study

    and finally smooth textures (such as that on the jug) contrast against the shriveled texture of the pear or the harsh metal body of the sewing machine. Slightly cluttered it lacks the clarity of his other works (such as the empty plate)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work