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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:28 pm 
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The Dutch appreciated the song, too. Don MacLean is a national hero there.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:04 am 
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The one below is one of my favorite Van Gogh's - I fell in love with it at the Amsterdam Museum, and bought a poster. Which I subsequently lost :(. Have been looking for this one in all the museums I have been to hence and have never found it.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:09 am 
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Mahima, I've never seen that one before. :shock:

I'm awestruck just from the little image. What's its title?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:28 am 
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I've also never seen that one before, Mahima. And everyone knows what a big Van Gogh fan I am. It's lovely, and has a very different feel then most of his work.

Also, I'm happy to see you. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:06 am 
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The title of that one is Almond Blossom painted (oil on canvass) in the year of his death in 1890. That's one of his rare paintings.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:21 am 
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Oh, Mahima, Mahima. That print is framed and mounted over the desk in my classroom. It is simply "The Almond Tree." (Sorry, Lurker, we cross posted. You might be right. "Tree" is the name on the print I framed.)

I must admit that I thought little of it for years. It seemed too sane, like the product of V's spells of laudenum calm. But it has grown on me. The coloration is aberrant. Maybe that makes it interesting. It is flatter than most. Certain branches jut into forespace. The blossoms might be lighter than we expect from a V this late; why not more paint? The branches are tortured like the cypresses in other pictures. These are bare like fingers and knuckles. The tree--and the picture--are trying to grow.

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Last edited by baby tuckoo on Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:48 am 
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I guess you are right Baby around this time he was under a physician's care so his paintings have a "serene" touch to it. The year before he checked in into an asylum and continued painting, since the enviroment he was in was a drab and dreary, his paintings reflected his surroundings as well. So my guess is, this was painted from a room or studio at the asylum, so the colours are like that and what he painted reflected what he felt at that time - commit suicide.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:44 am 
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Oh, Mahima, Mahima. That print is framed and mounted over the desk in my classroom.

gaah! lucky you. :)

And what a different perception I had of this one! I seem to remember it being called "winter blossom", but I could be wrong - am sure "blossom" was part of the name, though. To me it signified some kind of hope, an inner struggle.... a tree still daring to bloom when it is not supposed to. And you and lurker have such different perceptions - but then you obviously know Van Gogh the person more than I do - I just love his art. His "Wheatfields and crows" - the one which is supposed to be his last painting, leaves me shivering at times. There seems to be death in those strokes....

V :hug:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:57 am 
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V himself might not have given it a name, but there is probably a generally accepted title. I'll look into it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:09 am 
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You are right, Mahima. A lot of people have different perspectives on an artwork, that's what makes abstract paintings really interesting.

My perception was based on his living conditions at that time, plus the fact, he was trying to "create" a "Van Gogh" version of some of the famous artists' paintings at that time who were "realist" painters. I could say this is his take on "realism" which is really "out of character", cause most painters stick to one "signiture" style and expand on it. This painting is a deviation from what he normally does. I guess, he thinks if his paintings were more of the "norm" at that time he would have succeed and he was under a psychiatric care, too. In fact, his doctor was a budding amateur artist as well so he might have influenced Vincent in some way. I guess he diverted back to his "signiture style" in the last few months of his life.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:25 am 
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The actual title is "Blossoming Almond Tree". The painting is housed at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

There is another painting at that museum that he painted in Arles in April of 1888 called "Almond Tree in Blossom" which is quite different.

http://www.vggallery.com/painting/p_0557.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:49 am 
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Thanks, VtF.

I know the other Almond Tree. Yes, it's quite different from Mahima's above. Both seem to be attempts to imitate other styles, perhaps on the bad advice of others. The pointalist attempt is one of his weakest. Leave that stuff to Seurat and to the aging Monet, I say, not that it matters what I say. Vincent had just lost Gaugin and was floundering.

For some reason I've kept the "Blossom" print and put it near me in many spaces. I've been trying to figure it out for 25 years, ever since I framed it.

I appreciate Lurker's observations greatly.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:03 pm 
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Thanks for digging that out, V.

Frankly, I am not feeling very happy that my favorite painting of my favorite artist is one he was making as an imitation!!! :P

Though, not directly related, it brings to the mind the point of view that its often better not to know the artist when appreciating the art. But it does offer incredible insights into the art, and is hence an invaluable resource.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:22 pm 
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I don't know that it would be fair to say that it was imitation. He wrote in a letter to his mother on 20 February 1890 (just after the painting was completed):

Vincent van Gogh wrote:
Dear Mother,

I intended to answer your letter many days ago, but I could not bring myself to write, as I sat painting from morning to evening, and thus the time passed. I imagine that, like me, your thoughts are much with Jo and Theo: how glad I was when the news came that it had ended well: it was a good thing that Wil stayed on. I should have greatly preferred him to call the boy after Father, of whom I have been thinking so much these days, instead of after me; but seeing it has now been done, I started right away to make a picture for him, to hang in their bedroom, big branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky.


That does not at all sound like he was doing an imitation.

There is also this letter to his sister, Wilhelmia, on 5 June 1890:

Vincent van Gogh wrote:
But during the last weeks at St. Rémy I worked like a man in a frenzy, especially on bunches of flowers, roses and violet irises. I brought along a relatively large picture for Theo's and Jo's little boy - which they hung over the piano - white almond blossoms - big branches against a sky-blue background - and they also have a new portrait of the Arlésienne in their apartment.


I don't think he was imitating anything. I think he moved by the birth of his nephew, who apparently was named after him. That seems a lot more promising a background for your favorite painting by your favorite artist, doesn't it, Mahima?

:hug:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:18 am 
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Mahima wrote:
Frankly, I am not feeling very happy that my favorite painting of my favorite artist is one he was making as an imitation!!! :P


I'm not implying that the painting was an imitation but if my memory serves me right he did versions of a few realist paintings of his time. What I was trying to say was he was dabbling on realism, giving it the "Van Gogh" twist. Nobody has taken notice of his artwork when he was doing impressionism (before his death) so my guess was that his relatives would appreciate his work better if he paints something more realistic. The painting was a gift to be cherished and IMHO, from the vantage point of Vincent, he is not painting it for himself but for his nephew.

Well, after reading what Sir V has posted (thanks for the info, btw.), IMHO, he is happy (taking into account the blue sky and the flowers) but still it is overshadowed by his depression (which represented by the details in the branches). Taking into acccount that he is an "unconventional artist" during his time, most painters would have given a balance between the "still life" and the background. In this painting I feel like the focal point is not the blue sky or the flowers but the branches and like Baby said to him it were like "knuckles and fingers", that's why I agreed with him. His happiness is often overshadowed with what he is struggling with in his mind. That's why the colours is not as vibrant, but the attention to detail on those branches was very distinct.

I could be wrong, I'm not an art major, just took some art history classes in university as my liberal arts prequisite.

ETA:
I apologize if I don't make any sense since I'm not getting enough sleep lately, been busy, busy, busy. Like they say, the fewer sleep you get, the lesser brain cells you have. :blackeye: :P

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:10 am 
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I hope you all will go to Ethel's 365 posts on the "Going to California" forum.


It is pure serendipity, I'm sure, that she took pictures of a blooming almond tree when she was here in California a few days ago, and chose to post them. I'm sure also that only fortune made her next pictures cypresses.

But I still don't believe in God.




If I knew how, I'd place links to these places.


I don't.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 4:11 am 
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Today I was listening to Beethoven's one and only opera, Fidelio. The cover art for the CD featured an excerpt of van Gogh's "The Exercise Yard".

Fidelio is set in a prison in Spain. The prisoners are mainly if not entirely political prisoners. "The Exercise Yard" was obviously used to represent a scene where the prisoners are let out of their dark cells for a brief moment of daylight and fresh air. It's a brilliant scene, full of emotion as well as beautiful music ("O, welche Lust!").

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 Post subject: van gogh, etc
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:41 pm 
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You all seem to know a lot more about Van Gogh and his works than I do. I just know that his is a rather sad story that is often used to exemplify creative genius and it's relationship or perhaps kinship to insanity.
Let me ask this question, and I'll bet y'all know the answer to it---- Did Vincent suffer from an actual mental disease, or "malfunctioning of the mind", or was he just eccentric to the point of appearing to be insane? His act of cutting off his ear seems pretty crazy to most folks, but it might have just been a case of his extreme passion. I can imagine that he was saying to her "Look what I'm willing to do for your love" I'm wondering about that because I believe a lot, perhaps most, very creative people are not "normal" in the conventional sense, and so their strange behavior may be mis-interpreted as insanity.
Didn't Albert Einstien go to town in his pj's because he forgot to get dressed? Leonardo Da Vinci is about the only certified genius that I can think of right now that didn't show signs of craziness, or at least none that history recorded.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:47 pm 
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Vincent had a drinking problem, that's pretty certain. He may have had any of a variety of neurological conditions as well, and various attempts have been made over the years to diagnose them. As far as true full-blown mental illness, the closest thing I can come up with is some kind of bipolar disorder, but even that's a matter of degree in milder cases. Maybe he was just moody and frustrated and gifted, a combination that can take someone a lot of places, good and bad.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:57 pm 
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You guys really rock, thanks for all that wonderful information about my favorite painting. :) :hug:

bt, you can link by using the "url" tag when you are composing your post. [/url]

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