Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh View of Paris

View of Paris, Vincent van Gogh
View of Paris, Vincent van Gogh.

Every time you think you know Van Gogh, he turns around and surprises you.

From the Van Gogh Museum. On Google Art Project.

View of Paris, Vincent van Gogh


8 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh View of Paris”

  1. Don’t wish to be a party breaker, but I have seen better tonal paintings, more impressive views of Paris and more visually pleasing impasto work.

    1. As have I. I didn’t suggest that Van Gogh was going to give Sargent a run for his money in terms of sophisticated brushwork (grin), but this has a quick, plein air kind of charm that I like very much, and seems uncharacteristic of what we expect from Van Gogh. Had I seen it listed by an unknown painter, I would have wanted to know if there was more work by that artist that I could pursue.

  2. What bothers me most is the sky. The strokes are applied almost in a haphazard manner. Cover the lower half in a second close up and no one would guess it was the sky.
    Compare it with skies in Bonington sketches, for example.

    1. I understand what you mean, and I certainly agree that it is far from being as sophisticated as skies from Bonnington or Constable, but I still like it very much. I think perhaps you and I are looking for different things.

      In part, it’s the way that the seemingly random strokes and quick jabs of paint resolve themselves into the swirls of a cloud filled sky that I find appealing. I like this as a plein air study, though I don’t know its size – rendered quickly to capture the fleeting effects of the clouds and light.

  3. I don’t know if Vincent was trying to be “better, “more impressive” or visually pleasing”, Valentino.I think he was just sincerely painting – as Charley implies. If he was hoping to communicate something of what he felt to other people – he succeeded for me 🙂 . He might not have been a great painter, but I think he is a great artist.

  4. I am not sure I was properly understood. English is not my mother tongue, so that may be the reason.
    I don’t have problems with this painting. I did not mean nor say that it is insincere. (*)
    I do think, however, that this is, well…let me be brutally honest – a mediocre piece.
    Just my two cents.

    (*) – Speaking of which – there were many sincere and competent painters in Van Gogh’s time and later who did not get the recognition they deserved.

    1. I do understand what you mean, Valentino; and I certainly appreciate your comments and respect your opinion. As I said, I just think we’re looking for two different things from the painting. I agree that it is not as sophisticated or accomplished as the work of other painters who work in this manner, but I’m appreciating it more as a study than as a finished work, the roughness and immediacy are part of the charm for me.

      You are also certainly correct that there are many other painters from the time who did not get the recognition they deserved, and still don’t. I try to bring some of them to light when I can. I’ve also learned of some excellent and underappreciated painters with whom I was not familiar through your blog.

  5. Thank you Charley for your kind words. I can say the same for Lines and Colors blog.