Impressionism Analytical Essay

Subject: Art
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 755
Topics: Art History, Impressionism, Painting, Van Gogh
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In the history of Western art, among the most influential ad famous figures is Vincent Van Gogh. He was a Dutch impressionist artist whose artistic works include portraits and self-portraits, landscapes and still lives. These are typified by bold colors and communicative, impetuous and remarkable brushwork that significantly added to the fundamentals of contemporary art.

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Van Gogh’ Painting

This self-portrait was painted by Van Gogh painted shortly after his return home from the hospital where he was being treated for mutilating his own ear. After he chopped off a piece of his right ear in a maniac incident in Arles, Vincent painted a portrait of himself with a Bandaged Ear as he was on the road to recovery and thinking about his sickness.  According to him, the piece art would help in restoring stability to his life, illustrating the significant position that the painting held for him.  As Cornelissen (2013) states, the Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear serves as a view to the improved vigor and power of Van Gogh in his artistic works as the creation is made with unusual practicality, where all his physical characters (facial) are modeled explicitly with vigilant attention being given to complementary quality of clothes, skin and the wood (Jia et al., 2012). In this creation, Van Gogh portrays himself abut an easel with a picture that is basically vacant and a Japanese painting hanging at the wall.  The expressive and loose strokes of brush emblematic of the artist are evidently noticeable; the inscription is both graceful and uneven and at times appearing diffuse and soft. This creates nervousness between bounds that are otherwise marked visibly.

The firm outlines of Van Gogh’s hat and coat the linear eminence of the Japanese print that is behind him. At the same time, the artist positioned the model of the continuous layers of the wet paint to establish an abundantly quality surface. This helps in furthering the emotive and depth vigor of the image.

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Being one of the various portraits that the artists during his artistic profession, the Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear has intensity unequalled at during that time, which is illuminated in the honest way in which the Van Gogh depicts his own-imposed injury and the suggestive manner in which he renders the scene.  According to Abry et al. (2013), through a combination of influences as different as the sturdy outlines from Japanese woodblock creations and the brushwork of the Impressionists. By merging effects as varied as the slack brushwork of the Van Gogh indeed arrived at an exceptional mode of expression in this painting and many more others.

Van Gogh’s Sculpture

In 1889 January, just a few days after Van Gogh’s self- mutilation in Arles, he wrote to his brother Theo informing him that his wound was ‘healing very well,’ but remembered a couple of day of anxiety and sleepless night. Although his suffering from the hospital in Arles was frightful, it was not a nice experience for him.  However, he was saving his energy for the Arlésiennes and had been powerless to portray women in Arles as anything but poisonous. This is why he painted the plaster female torso to depict women of Arles as venomous (Monico et al., 2014).

Vincent Van Gogh painted the sculpture with a high degree of precisions. The shadows that light from the left cast highlight the curves of the body.  The remains of the falling curly hair over the shoulders of the woman in the sculpture are not so plastic. Contrary to other paintings by Van Gogh after plaster models, the model of the female torso’s contours ate precisely defined. It is only the cushion that is a bit unclear.  As states by Monico et al. (2011), the background of the figure changes from dynamic yellow at the bottom to a lighter yellow at the center and then towards the top, the background is increasingly blue. To the right side of the model is a smooth mix of color. The absence of hands and legs implies that the torso cannot stand upright. The sculpture depicts the folds perfectly in this figure. All the features in the sculpture, from the missing parts of the curly falling hair, missing hands to missing legs portrays the poisonous nature of women of Arles. Vincent Van Gogh ironically tells his brother that his wound is healing well but in the real sense, the hospital in nothing but a source of suffering, anxiety and sleepless nights.  The artistic explains the toxic nature of women in that hospital through his plaster model of the female torso.

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  1. Abry, P., Wendt, H., & Jaffard, S. (2013). When Van Gogh meets Mandelbrot: Multifractal classification of painting’s texture. Signal Processing, 93(3), 554-572.
  2. Cornelissen, J. P. (2013). Portrait of an entrepreneur: Vincent van Gogh, Steve Jobs, and the entrepreneurial imagination. Retrieved from http://amr.aom.org/content/38/4/700.short
  3. Jia, J., Wu, S., Wang, X., Hu, P., Cai, L., & Tang, J. (2012, October). Can we understand van gogh’s mood?: learning to infer affects from images in social networks. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM international conference on Multimedia (pp. 857-860). ACM. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Xiaohui_Wang21/publication/258312245_Can_We_Understand_van_Gogh’s_Mood_Learning_to_Infer_Affects_from_Images_in_Social_Networks/links/00b49527c499e0ee62000000.pdf
  4. Monico, L., Janssens, K., Hendriks, E., Brunetti, B. G., & Miliani, C. (2014). Raman study of different crystalline forms of PbCrO4 and PbCr1− xSxO4 solid solutions for the noninvasive identification of chrome yellows in paintings: a focus on works by Vincent van Gogh. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 45(11-12), 1034-1045.
  5. Monico, L., Van der Snickt, G., Janssens, K., De Nolf, W., Miliani, C., Dik, J., … & Cotte, M. (2011). Degradation process of lead chromate in paintings by Vincent van Gogh studied by means of synchrotron X-ray spectromicroscopy and related methods. 2. Original paint layer samples. Analytical chemistry, 83(4), 1224-1231.
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