Dear Poet Friends, over the last few years I have seen some of our poets make passing remarks about Van Gog, thereby displaying their interest about this talented painter, who had died unrecognised! Vincent gained full recognition posthumously, for which his brother Theo’s wife was greatly responsible. Hope you like this short and concise true story in verse. Best wishes, - Raj
A TRIBUTE TO VINCENT VAN GOG’S
By Raj Nandy
”One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul
and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passerby
see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and
continue on the way.” – Vincent Van Gogh(1853-1890)
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY :
Though during his brief life-span of 37 years he had
remained almost wholly unknown;
His artistic talents began to exhibit itself during his
early years, -
To become a colossus amongst post-impressionist
painters in his later years!
The son of a Dutch clergyman, he had worked in
various capacities, -
In his uncle’s art gallery, in a bookstore, and pursued
theological studies in Amsterdam University.
Also followed by a short stint in Belgium’s coal-mining
district as a lay missionary!
At the age of 27 years took to painting with financial
help from elder brother Theo,
Who encouraged and helped him for the next ten years
This was the most creative period of Vincent’s life,
Followed by an attack of dementia when he cut his
own ear lobe risking his life!
On 27th July 1890, he shot himself, bringing his
great artistic career to a tragic end!
SERIES OF ELEVEN SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS:
Vincent commenced his famous sunflower series
to decorate his house in Arles, France,
While anticipating his friend Paul Gaugin’s visit in
His first four canvases had paintings of cut sun -
flowers in bunches of twos and fours;
Painted in Paris during Aug-Sep 1887, which the
world still adores.
But his later Arles series of seven still life canvases
are better known to us;
And this series of paintings had made Vincent
The most valued of these seven is a vase containing
a bunch of 15 sunflowers, -
Now displayed at the Art Museum in the city of Tokyo;
A Japanese firm had paid 40 million dollars at an
auction for this masterpiece to show!
A SHORT CONCLUSION
Vincent brought his passion for sunflowers from his
homeland in Holland.
Which became synonymous with him like those ‘water
lilies’ with his contemporary painter Claude Monet.
Vincent painted the various stages of the flowers in bloom;
From its budding stage till it wilted and swooned!
Chrome yellow and yellow ochre made them look fresh;
And arid brown and somber shades showed its wilted stage!
Thus his paintings covered all angles of spectrum of life
In turn reaching a deeper understanding of how all living
things are tied together and made !
His explosive energy was displayed through his vibrant
shades of yellow.
Using red for passion, and green for conflict to show.
Grey shades were used for life’s inevitable surrender,
with blue symbolising infinity;
Thus this Dutch Impressionist painter harnessed a
moment of time in eternity!
Dr Jan Hulsker, a foremost scholar on Van Gogh, had said that this Sunflower series of paintings brought Vincent eternal acclaim & fame! During his short life span he made 700 paintings, 1600 drawings, 9 lithographs & one etching. His ‘Potatoe Eaters’, ‘Red Vineyard’, ‘Starry Night’, - are all famous paintings. Paul Gaugin, & Claude Monet, were his other ‘Impressionist’ contemporaries. Impressionism emphasised changing qualities of light & colour, visible brush strokes, open composition, creating an impression of a moment of time! Derives its name from Claude Monet’s harbour painting titled “Impressions & Sunrise”. This art form became popular in 1880s and 1890s.
*ALL COPY RIGHTS RESERVED BY RAJ NANDY