Monday, May 18, 2009

What I like about ... van Gogh

It's "V" day today and I immediately thought of Van Gogh.

I got to know Van Gogh first through Irving Stone’s fictional biography, “Lust for Life”. I was so moved by the drama of his life such that I poured through many art books in the library and looked at whatever pictures of his paintings were there. There was no internet at that time yet (late 60's). Through the book, I got to understand van Gogh better and appreciated his works more.

I cannot say that I like all of Van Gogh’s works. However, I appreciate most of them especially because I learned of the circumstances under which those works were done. Sometimes I wonder however why he has so many self portraits wearing different kinds of hat. Did he paint these because he was egoistic or because he could not afford to pay any model? My guess is probably both.

My favourite works are his popular “Sunflowers” and of course “Starry Night”. However, I also like his less known “Landscape at Dusk” painting. I love the way he captured the essence of dusk through the colors he used.

Van Gogh's passion for his art is the main reason why I like him and his works. The title, "Lust for Life", that Irving Stone used in his book is an apt description of van Gogh's life.

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