Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vincent van Gogh Gallery

Vincent van Gogh
Tough perhaps not definitive in terms of image quality or resolution, the Vincent van Gogh Gallery is nonetheless a terrific resource on the iconic Dutch artist, notable for the breadth of the material it presents.

As a labor of love for 14 years, Canadian David Brooks has attempted to collect an online catalog raisonné of Van Gogh’s works, no mean feat given the artist’s prolific nature.

There are catalogues of Van Gogh’s paintings arranged chronologically, alphabetically or by category in both text and thumbnailed listings. There are also galleries of his watercolors, graphics and letter sketches, as well as his wonderfully textural and often unjustly overlooked drawings.

Even if you have a dozen books on Van Gogh, you will likely be delighted here to encounter paintings and drawings that you have never seen.

I found it particularly enjoyable to browse by category, getting that way more of a mix and juxtaposition of time periods, from the dark earth tones of his early work to the brilliant sunbursts from Arles and Saint-Rémy.

You can also browse another Van Gogh Gallery that offers a complete catalog of paintings, though in a less flexible variety of access.

For a more definitive view of Van Gogh and his works, see the excellent resources on the site of the Van Gogh Museum, which I recently mentioned in my post about the restoration of his famous painting The Bedroom.

For additional resources on the artist, including museum listings and other image archives, see the Van Gogh listings on Artcyclopedia.

The joy here, though, is in the discovery of works by Van Gogh outside the 100 or so that you usually encounter.

9 thoughts on “Vincent van Gogh Gallery

  1. Raining Acorns

    This great post brought to mind again a past exhibit at MOMA, “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night,” that featured the painting of the cottage with which you start. I saw many Van Gogh paintings at that exhibit of which I’d known nothing. About that painting, Van Gogh’s letter is revelatory:

    In reality, every day in the gloomy cottages I see effects against the light or in the evenings in the dusk that are so curious that so far my work still seems to me too light for the effects in question, that is, those I compare to the green soap and the copper-colour of a worn 10-centime piece, for want of anything better, and paint them with those colours, for want of anything better. But I wanted to succeed on the gloomy side too. What I’ve talked about before: the peasant painted with the soil he sows.

    –Vincent van Gogh, Letter to Theo van Gogh, c. June 2, 1885.

    Had he but known how much his work is loved–thank goodness for David Brooks, and others like him, who make such effort to bring us his lesser known works–and to you, for doing so much to let us know about people like David Brooks, not to mention all the wonderful artists you bring to our attention.

    FYI, the MOMA online exhibit can be found at http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/vangoghnight/. Don’t miss the painting and commentary on “The Starry Night Over the Rhone.”

  2. Raining Acorns

    Thank you for noting your post on the exhibit, which was posted before I knew of lines and colors. And, why am I not surprised that, at the top of that post, the beautiful Starry Night Over the Rhone. Riches upon riches.

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