Talking About Vincent

Because Vincent Van Gogh provided so much fodder in his letters, other writers have written extensively about him. It started in earnest during the last year of his life where a long article became a feature in the first edition of an avant garde Parisian art magazine.

Although his paintings only started selling seriously about 10 years after his death, the writers started sooner.

As I come across interesting quotes about Van Gogh, I’ll post them here.

G. Albert Aurier was a poet, art critic and painter, devoted to Symbolism. In 1890, he contributed to the newly revived Mercure de France, an art and literary journal. In the first issue, he published a long essay, The Isolated Ones: Vincent van Gogh. Aurier died at the age of twenty-seven in Paris, October 5, 1892, from a typhus infection. Here’s an excerpt from The Isolated Ones:

What characterizes his works as a whole is its excess . . . of strength, of nervousness, its violence of expression. In his categorical affirmation of character of things, in his often daring simplification of forms, in his insolence in confronting the sun head-on, in the vehement passion of his drawing and colour, even to the smallest details of his technique, a powerful figure is revealed . . . masculine, daring, very often brutal . . . yet sometimes ingeniously delicate . . . .

Julius Meier-Graefe, a prominent art critic and author reacted to a 1914 Van Gogh retrospective:

Van Gogh is the Christ of modern art. He created for many, suffered for more still. If he is or can become his savior will depend on the faith of his disciples.

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