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Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:07 PM

“I have had a most rare vision”: Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night

“It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day...” --Vincent, in a letter to his brother Theo

[IMG][/IMG]
The Starry Night. 1889. The Museum of Modern Art. New York.

I like the late John Updike’s term, “annunciatory apparitions,” that he finds in Van Gogh’s paintings. It’s a bit of a theological explication but oh, why not? Van Gogh can seem a throwback to himself as the (failed) evangelist preacher, with a religious theme in The Starry Night. This is the viewpoint from Legomenon, an online literary journal that explores the meaning of art. The working theory here has Van Gogh comparing himself to the Old Testament’s Joseph in this passage

“Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brother, saying, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’ ” Genesis 37.9

In the Bible story, Joseph is a dreamer and an outcast who was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery and endured years of imprisonment (as Van Gogh was held in an asylum in Saint-Remy, which is where he created this masterpiece). Joseph’s eleven brothers gave him no acceptance or respect. The artist, feeling rejected by the art critics of his day, may be saying “you disrespect me now but someday I will get the recognition I deserve.” And, of course, the painting has eleven stars and a crescent moon ablaze in its sky.

The town seems mostly asleep, unaware of this roiling scene. The people are in their snug, tidy world, not conscious of the torment of Vincent, oblivious to his suffering in their very midst.

detail of town
[IMG][/IMG]

But is Van Gogh present here? According to this theory, he is, in the image of the cypress tree. It writhes upward, a darkling force challenging the fireballs in the sky above. The cypress tree was something of an obsession with the artist and he painted several landscapes that prominently included them. Ominously, it has historically been associated with cemeteries and the after life.

Before her suicide, Anne Sexton in a terrifyingly prescient poem contemplating The Starry Night wrote

Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry.


This starry night is tense, erratic, frenzied. We can, however, look to his other famous night sky painting, Starry Night over the Rhone, for more of a beneficence.

[IMG][/IMG]

1888. Musee d’Orsay, Paris

The goodness and tenderness in this work was completely intended. Van Gogh said, “I want to say something consoling as music does...I want to paint men and women with a touch of the eternal, whose symbol was once the halo which we try to convey by the very radiance and vibrancy of the coloring.” The couple is walking arm in arm in the gas lamps refraction from the town’s houses on the gently moving river and the canopy of a star filled sky. The thick impasto of sky from his loaded brush is more pronounced than in The Starry Night, but the effect here is calming and reassuring to the viewer. He has painted the stars to appear as night flowers, as we see in this beautiful detail

[IMG][/IMG]

Art historian Simon Schama describes the couple “canoodling on the threshold of infinity...what we see is what they feel.” Sadly, for Van Gogh this feeling is what he would long for all of his life but could never have. The artist’s epilepsy coupled with bipolar disorder robbed him of his ability to have a life with a wife and family, which his brother Theo had. The birth of Theo’s little boy was joyful, but also crushing to Vincent’s already fragile mental state.

The New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl, reviewing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit of all seventeen of the gallery’s Van Gogh works last year observed

“...What I had glimpsed in him at first turned out to be lying in wait for me. It was the value of joy, irrespective of happiness, and certainly, of intellectual pride. All good art teaches some variant of that consoling and humbling truth, which anyone might recognize.”

Twenty-eight years before Vincent painted The Starry Night a poet sitting at her window in Amherst, Massachusetts looked out upon her small world as she struggled with the storms within her brain and wrote what Vincent would eventually paint

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here–

NOTE: The quote in the title is not Van Gogh’s. Extra credit to those of you who know the provenance of the title of this post without Googling. Another hint: “That you have but slumbered here, / While these visions did appear.”




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Reply “I have had a most rare vision”: Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night (Original post)
CTyankee Feb 2015 OP
enlightenment Feb 2015 #1
CTyankee Feb 2015 #2
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CTyankee Feb 2015 #5
enlightenment Feb 2015 #14
CTyankee Feb 2015 #15
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CTyankee Feb 2015 #29
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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:12 PM

1. With credit to the Bard of Avon . . .

do I get the gold star?

Interesting post, CT - I enjoyed reading it.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:14 PM

2. Oh, so you know the play?

that's impressive, and without Googling I presume.

Your gold star is in the mail...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:15 PM

3. Without googling, indeed.

It's one of my favorites.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:30 PM

5. so I guess you know the poet from Amherst...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:19 PM

14. Okay - I'm guessing here.

Emily Dickinson?

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:30 PM

15. Indeedy so! I love her!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:56 PM

24. Yay!

I really wasn't sure - I'm woefully inadequate on the American poets, but her work has a certain metre (? correct term?) and that rang a bell in my head.

Clearly, I need to add more Dickinson to my reading rota.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:10 PM

28. Yeah, Dickinson is odd. But if any American poet would get this painting, it would

be Dickinson. Some of her poetry is as explosive as Starry Night...

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:14 PM

109. Poetry suggestions?

I would love some recommendations. I only first enjoyed reading poetry for the first time this last year, but now I absolutely love it, especially read aloud. I don't read enough, though, so any of your favorites you'd suggest?

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #109)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 01:27 PM

111. I like Wallace Stevens, altho he can be a bit difficult. Yeats is fine, too.

You might want to check out community college courses in poetry. My cc is free for seniors over the age of 62 (I had to buy the text book however). I took Italian 101 and Italian 102 at my cc. The text was $100 but was used for both courses.

In my area there are Learning in Retirement courses for seniors. I taught one on love poetry entitled "Bright Star and Wild Darling." It was a 4 week seminar. Here is what I offered:

The Poetry of Love


LOVE'S PASSION

There is some kiss we want with our whole lives -- Rumi
Don't go far off, not even for a day -- Neruda

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones -- Roethke
When Sue wears red -- Langston Hughes

Bright Star! Would I Were Steadfast as thou Art -- Keats
I Carry Your Heart with Me -- e.e. cummings

There's a man -- Sappho
I am the Rose of Sharon -- attributed to King Solomon

Busy Old Fool, Unruly Sun -- Donne


ENDURING LOVE

My monkey-wrench man is my sweet patootie -- Margaret Walker
Touch Me -- Kunitz

Madonna of the Evening Flowers -- Amy Lowell
Cloths of Heaven -- Yeats

O, never say that I was false of heart - Shakespeare (sonnet 109)
Sonnet from "The Amoretti" (little love poems) TBD - Spenser

LOSS AND REMEMBRANCE

Funeral Blues -- Auden
Reluctance -- Frost

I slept in the past -- Izumi Shikibu
What lips my lips have kissed -- Millay

RENUNCIATION

The soul selects her own society -- Dickinson
That Will to Divest -- Kay Ryan

Circe's Power -- Gluck



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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #109)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 01:46 PM

112. If you're just

getting started (and bravo for reading aloud - poetry is an oral form and should always be read aloud when possible), I'd suggest an anthology.

Poetry has so much variety - there's something to appeal to every taste. My tastes are eclectic; some days I want the purity of more classical forms and some days I enjoy the word chase of modern free verse - admittedly not often for the latter.

My first anthology was an old edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse - the 1919 version. My grandmother; who recited poetry to us kids almost from the point we were hatched; gave it to me when I was about twelve or thirteen. It is a true anthology - ranging from medieval to modern (1919 at that point), with a selection as broad as they could make it without creating a book too heavy to lift. An excellent starting point and it did inform my tastes as an adult.

My favorite poem is probably this ditty by Leigh Hunt - because it requires nothing from me but a smile. Try reading it out loud and you'll find yourself grinning, too.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss’d me.

--- Leigh Hunt

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:25 PM

4. I think the quote is from William Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night's Dream. I love Starry Night. Thanks for posting.

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Response to stage left (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:38 PM

6. Great play. Glad you like the painting.

He wasn't too much loved in his lifetime. In doing the research for this I grew to like the guy because I have talented friends who suffer from bipolar disorder and I worry about them. And I once worked at an organization where my boss had the same disability. It was one of the worst work experiences of my life...I never knew where she'd be emotionally day to day...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:36 PM

54. Many of the mentally ill are exceptionally intelligent and talented.

So much beauty there in spite of so much pain.

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Response to stage left (Reply #54)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:40 PM

57. but they often should not be in managerial positions...hell on earth depending on

how they feel that day...it can wreck the workers striving under them...it's bad...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #57)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:03 PM

68. Yes

I know it can be, and a Bipolar person probably shouldn't be a manager. I was really thinking about Van Gogh and not contradicting you in your assessment of your manager. I'm sorry it sounded that way. My mother had schizo-affective disorder which is a combo of Schizophrenic symptoms and Bipolar ones. My sister and I never knew what was okay for us to do and say, because it varied from day.

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Response to stage left (Reply #68)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:07 PM

70. I secured another job and left, not knowing that that manager had bipolar disorder.

It wasn't until later that I go that information and from a good source. My former manager had also changed jobs and I think it was because she got a less than great review from the CEO of her performance, having lost a significant number of staff (including me) under her supervision.

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Response to stage left (Reply #68)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 07:25 AM

102. It really depends on the person

I'm bipolar II and am rarely short tempered, or no more than your average New Yorker and/or stand up comic. I Know a pair of bipolar twins in their early 20s and one is quite short tempered while the other isn't (curiously, the one who isn't had a horrible temper as a child, and currently takes no medication but relies on behavior modification techniques). I think bipolar I people tend to have the worse mood swings as they get full blown mania as opposed to hypomania which is less extreme.

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Response to AndreaCG (Reply #102)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 11:37 AM

106. It does depend on the person.

Everyone is different. It also makes a huge difference if the person is getting proper medication and therapy for their illness. My mother was undiagnosed and untreated for many years. In the time frame where she was treated she did much better.

Right now my daughter is suffering through a bout of Major Depression. Her original diagnosis was also bipolar II, but just lately it was determined she doesn't have enough up moods or irritable moods to even be hypomanic. Or so the docs think. So it is probably chronic depression with a topping of major depression.

We are both going to support groups sponsored by NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. I reccomend NAMI to anyone looking for help or information.

(I can be pretty short tempered myself sometimes. )

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:10 PM

7. I'm always gobsmacked by the chaotic order of Van Gogh.

Up close, the frenzy of his strokes is frightening. A few feet away you understand the jittery sense of it. From a distance there is serenity and joy and color, so much color.

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Response to blogslut (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:11 PM

29. You are so right. He had so much to say...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:29 PM

8. Just spent a month with Vincent via the Naifeh/White Smith bio

900 pages...most of them pretty thrilling actually. Vincent was exhausting and exhaustive. The absence and/or inability of anyone other than his brother, who kept his distance, to form an enduring relationship with him was heartbreaking at times. As if by way of compensation, he never shined more than when others were suffering; coal miners in the north of France where he preached or his mother when she broke her hip. In fact, that's when he started drawing landscapes (rather than people), so she could see the outside world. His famous pollard branches sketch, which was probably the first true indication of his greatness, was done then.

It is such an improbable story; he didn't even turn to art until he was 27. Ten almost always frustrating and rejection-filled years later, he was gone. No one praised him critically until January of 1890 and, by the end of July, he was dead.

Starry Night is seen by many as the birth of abstract painting; it was obviously way ahead of its time. Theo saw it and said, cut that out, get back to realism because I need to sell this stuff! Of course, it would become his most famous and best loved work.

RIP Vincent and Theo. It's the best story ever. Really.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:50 PM

22. Thanks. I got that book from the library. Geez, 900 pages, really?

Are you an art historian? I wonder because I so dabble in this and I feel sometimes that I should go back and get an art history Master's degree so I can have a pedigree in art in addition to my B.A. in Fine Arts and my Masters in Liberal Studies. But then my husband gives me "the look" and I stop talking about it.

I love and appreciate your comments here! How wonderful! We can get a conversation here at DU on fine art!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:40 PM

56. Hey, you started it



It's actually 867 plus notes on Vincent's death, which they claim was a murder by a teenager who had been harassing him. Controversial, but plausible. Enjoy the book, and thank you for yet another thread-dose of culture.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #56)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:45 PM

59. good for you for getting so far into the bio. I didn't have the courage...

I'll be back. I've got a few more art dose threads of culture that are cooking in my brain. My project now is to take a well known classic work of art and discuss it, not something obscure that folks here don't know and don't find very interesting.

I like the classics because everyone has a different take on them. I find that fascinating.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #59)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:06 PM

69. Since you cited Schama, he and the Beeb did this masterful documentary on Van Gogh

A little less of a commitment than the book, but powerful nonetheless:



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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:31 PM

9. ***

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:34 AM

96. I sure don't need to say how I feel about "Starry Night"!

No other painting effects me more.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 02:11 PM

113. N/T

Everytime I see a van Gogh painting that song pops into my mind.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:39 PM

10. A repost

I posted this several weeks back. If you want to experience a mind-trip, go to the site below-stare at the spinning circles then look at Van Gogh's Starry Night (on same page). Quite an illusion.


http://twentytwowords.com/trippy-optical-illusion-makes-van-goghs-starry-night-undulate/

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Response to packman (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:17 PM

31. very cool - thanks !

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Response to packman (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:11 PM

73. OMG it's beautiful - I love it.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:47 PM

11. Let's not forget that he also helped The Doctor capture the Krafayis







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Response to progressoid (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:39 AM

97. Oh, c'mon progressoid. Now you're just...

...phoning it in.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #97)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:57 AM

98. I don't think The Doctor is a fan of ....

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Response to progressoid (Reply #98)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 06:25 AM

101. Now that's surreal, lol!

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Response to progressoid (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 04:49 AM

99. ....who?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #99)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 04:52 AM

100. First base

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 07:48 PM

12. Those last lines from THAT play,

are right near the top of my favorite of all time....
The very end of Der Rosenkavalier is..somewhat, just a little similar...outwardly, somewhat similar....
But...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:13 PM

13. OH YANK!!!

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Response to elleng (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:32 PM

17. SO glad you liked it!

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Response to elleng (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:53 PM

23. Oh, I'm glad you like it ellen! I'm so happy to post it...it's been a pleasure...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:56 PM

25. Great work as usual,

from you AND the artists!

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Response to elleng (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:35 PM

53. thank you ellen! I love doing these, tho...it's my fun...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:31 PM

16. The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

I know this has been posted before, but it seemed on point.

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:37 PM

18. wonderful! What a great explanation of the artist's disability/ability!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:38 PM

19. Vincent van Gogh and Turbulence

 

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:44 PM

20. What genius he had and such pain. Brother Theo declined after Vincent's death. Both died

about 6 months apart, only in their 30s. The Dutch great grandson of Theo, also named Theo Van Gogh d. 2004 from an attack over his controversial journalistic work.

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:40 PM

35. his biographers believe that both (and their sister wilhemina) also sufferd from it.

How awful for them...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:46 PM

21. You have me singing this

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:00 PM

26. One of my favorite of favorites.

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Response to Richard D (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:24 PM

33. "tears of joy" yes! That happened to me once...a van gogh wheat field with crows...

the tears just started to come...it was a meltdown in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I was on overload on an art intensive in the Netherlands...I had just come from some museums in Delft and had seen Vermeer's "Little House" and I went to the Van Gogh Museum a little later and there was this Van Gogh with crows in wheat fields. I was undone...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:04 AM

104. I had that beauty overload happen after a tour through the Frank Lloyd Wright house

Here in Rochester. Sobbing as we stood at the sidewalk afterwards. It felt good.

I'm saving to read your OP later. Not awake yet.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)


Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:13 PM

30. i may be wrong here. not sure if i learned this is art school, or just

had this impression myself, but i believe he used a palette knife more than a brush. the second detail, in particular, was def done w a knife.

it was a crazy thing to do back in the day when painters had to grind their own pigments. this meant hours and hours of grinding labor to paint like that. if you look at monet's paintings, he is amaaazingly stingy w the paint, some spots barely touched.
always thought this was real proof that he was not your average brain.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:50 PM

38. i'm a bit obsessed with his palette knife in the second night sky. He must have been

more obsessed as he went along...it seems excessive in the second one (altho I think he did them about the same time but not sure). But why is one more violent and one more calm?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #38)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:54 PM

40. hue variation.

not to put too fine of a point on it.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:04 PM

42. hmm. I think it makes some sense...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:22 PM

32. Thanks CTY. I have always been obsessed with him. As for light - I did

learn once that artists of the time were particularly interested in capturing the light in the night. Do I remember correctly - it had never been done in art before then.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:30 PM

34. well, all artists are interested in capturing the light. But they just strive to do it in

different ways. Light is intrinsic to what they do.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #34)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:19 PM

80. Yes...not what I was referring to - I look it up. :>)

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:59 PM

41. chiaroscuro.

no, it was around for a long time. for a studio painter of the time, it was everything. we take light for granted, but it was a big thing before electricity, or even gas light.
i am sure that the introduction of gas lighting sparked a lot of imagination.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #41)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:09 PM

44. It is hard for me to see chiarascuro in this work. Because chiarascuro depened on

on the contrast between light and shadow dramatically, which is not what you see here. But you have a great point about gas lighting's effect on painting....

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #44)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:20 PM

46. meant it as a reference

to the big beginning of light as an important element in painting.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #46)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:31 PM

50. no, light and shadow were always important but I see how gaslight can influence that.

esp. in the second starry night painting I showed by van gogh.

chiaroscuro deepened into tenebrism and was extremely important in Spanish painters after the Renaissance. Fascinating stuff, actually...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 01:01 AM

122. wow never knew you

To be so "know it all" Not like you at all. You are are usually so open.

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #122)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 02:52 AM

123. sorry to sound so snippy...I am far from expert and am an amateur in art history

I try to learn from those who do know more than I do, which is why I research and read so much on art. It's my hobby and my joy. But I don't want to fall into being an annoying know it all and I apologize if I have done so, Laura. I dunno, maybe the snow has gotten to me...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:41 PM

36. Someone made this video years ago

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:47 PM

37. that is lovely. thank you...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 09:53 PM

39. It's actually just called astigmatism.

It was not correctable at that time

Anyone with astigmatism recognizes the images immediately.

On edit.

He did it beautifully.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:05 PM

43. In 125 Years, Millions Of People Have Looked At This Painting. No One Really Saw It Until Now.


http://www.upworthy.com/in-125-years-millions-of-people-have-looked-at-this-painting-no-one-really-saw-it-until-now?c=upw1

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.

But I found this and I thought, "Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing." And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

We've got the set up here, but you have to watch the video for the full effect. It's all the way at the bottom.

FULL great story, video, and more at link.

K&R!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:23 PM

47. Interesting! Thank you Omaha Steve!

No, my point is not that Van Gogh was a mad genius. I don't know if medical science knows today what his genius actually was. Or anyone for that matter.

I just concern myself with what he is saying to me in his works. Simple as that. No biggie. No worries...

Relax. Life is good...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #47)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:00 PM

67. Check out his book of letters to his brother. Definately not a "mad" anything. Brilliant writer too.

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Response to harun (Reply #67)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:29 PM

81. He was an excellent writer. Really expressive of himself, his life and his art...

good to have those letters for reference, isn't it?

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:17 PM

45. Such beauty.

Thank you for this.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:25 PM

48. Nice to see you visit here. I do art stuff here at DU every couple of weeks or so...

hope you can stop by for my next post...thanks again!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:30 PM

49. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch's - Van Gogh: Painted With Words was very good, and

 

informative.

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #49)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:32 PM

51. Thank you for this!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:34 PM

52. I'm so grateful, appreciative, loving - for THEO n/t

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #52)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:38 PM

55. and poor Theo had his own psychological problems...he lived only some six months

after Vincent's accident. And
Wilhemina, the sister, also died young. There was a health issue with that family.


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Response to CTyankee (Reply #55)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:45 PM

60. "accident"?!1 Really?!1 n/t

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:48 PM

62. It is now thought that the problem with the gun was an accident.....really...

I did not think this one up...really...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:44 PM

58. The sad thing is

His fame started spreading soon after he died and within a decade or so his work was appreciated and valued.
If he had lived he would have found the success he so wanted.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:46 PM

61. Terrible luck, that...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #61)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:29 PM

82. I think he was too alone

With no one to get him through the despair.
If he only hung on, think of where his art could have gone.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #82)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:32 PM

84. I wonder, tho, if he didn't want to be alone...people with bipolar disorder often cannot

co-exist with others. Also, his siblings seemed to have he same disorder. So I guess it was a trait they all had. Theo didn't last more than a few years after him and his sister also died soon after. It was a sad situation for that family...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #84)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:38 PM

87. All true.

I hate when people think his art had something to do with. mental troubles.
He was great despite them. The myth of the tortured artist, unappreciated in his time.
When he would have been appreciated in his life, like Monet, Cezanne or Picasso, if he had lived.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #87)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:43 PM

88. I do think some of his visions were as a result of his disordered mind, tho.

He painted what he saw. And I do believe he painted because he had to. It wasn't a choice.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #88)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:49 PM

90. That's true

Of most artists I know.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #88)

Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:14 PM

125. I had a friend wonder

 

say "just imagine what Jimi Hendrix would have done if not for the LSD". I am of the opinion that he sounded like he did because of the LSD.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:53 PM

63. Pictures of Vincent's masterpieces don't due them justice

 

If its possible see an actual painting in a museum. He used so much paint on the canvas it gives kind of a 3d image.

The brushstrokes through the paint have to be seen with your eyes. It made me love Van Gogh even more.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #63)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:56 PM

65. so true. I used to carry a little magnifying glass into museums but I was stopped so

many times by museum guards I just didn't do it any more.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #65)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:08 PM

71. Yes they have to be seen

 

in person to get the full effect. Vincent was an artistic giant. I love his paintings so much!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #65)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:06 PM

108. when I went to the Met as a teen with my aunt- she was appalled that Van Gough "wasted....

 

so much paint"- I think it was the vase of sunflowers. My aunt was just cringing and looking at it from the side to calculate how much paint he had actually "wasted". And then she actually took her fingernail to it- not kidding. I gasped! And both feared and hoped the guard would see and stop or even arrest her. LOL, she is a total sociopath, and in retrospect, I totally understand her aversion to Van Gough. She lives to disrespect and exploit others, has no interest in anyone else's interior life.

Thanks for another wonderful thread! You PM me if you'd like to catch a show in NYC some time. I would love that.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #108)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 01:06 PM

110. Thanks, I would love that!

Esp. there's a cool exhibition at MoMA (or as Noo Yawkers call it "the Modern". I could just jump in a cab at Grand Central. Or we could meet at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central (I hope it is still there!). Are you in NYC?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #110)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:53 PM

118. Cool...drinks around Grand Central? I would say Raines Library is the place!

 

I am very close by to Manhattan, it's not big deal. I'm in a crunch time for work for another week, then things should be a lot more flexible during weekdays. But weekends can work for me too! We should invite La Lioness Pryanka, have not seen her in RL in a few years. She is the coolest.

PM me and we will talk next week!!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #118)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 07:50 PM

119. OK, great! I will research what's going on where artwise in NYC in the meantime.

I'd love to meet La Lioness herself! Zowee!

I'll PM you with what I find!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #119)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:25 PM

121. We can hope! Gosh it has been years...

 

Met her and Swag the same day after a protest. Fun people. I do get to see Swag every 3-4 years.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:55 PM

64. One of my all time life favorite experiences...

...is going to the Van Gogh museum during a much-too-short stay in Amsterdam in 1974. The colors are so vivid and the strokes so thick on some of the works that the paint looked as if it had just been completed yesterday and were still drying. Truly breathtaking.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 10:58 PM

66. Yes! That was the place of my meltdown...I started crying in front of one of his

works in a field with a bird. It was just too much. I cannot describe the moment...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:12 PM

74. I totally get the same feelings seeing his works

 

He put this heart and soul on those canvases and you can feel the genius and the madness and the sorrow.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #74)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:15 PM

76. I think in my case it was because I had been to Delft and other towns where the great

artists of the Golden Age of Dutch artists had painted and where they were. So I had just seen Vermeers and was a bit intoxicated...Girl with Pearl Earring and View of Delft in the Mauritshaus in the Hague...jeez...

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:10 PM

72. Wow I wish I could go to that museum

 

It must be breathtaking to see all those masterworks in one place.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:12 PM

75. I've been going to museums in Europe now for almost a decade just to see the

masterpieces. It's been a life's work for me in retirement. I'm just so lucky I have had the money to do it.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #75)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:16 PM

77. I'm glad that some folks get to see the creative work of humanity

 

Most of us see only the worst things. Art is a reminder that life doesn't have to be that way.

We can rise out of the mud if we try.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #77)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:19 PM

79. I always say that art always saves you.

You don't have to be right there in front of it but when you are it's a feeling of gratitude for the experience...a feeling that "I'm here, seeing this as it was done by the artist all those years ago" and I feel the age of the work and the history and the whole thing just crashes in on me. My god, I think, I'm here seeing this...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #79)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:31 PM

83. When I was a child every public school

 

had some kind of art class. Now thats the first thing that gets axed.

We will raise generations of kids that will never know who Michelangelo or Vincent Van Gogh were, etc.

Its terrible and will leave a more brutish world to survive in.

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #83)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:35 PM

85. god, yes...how can we get art into the lives of deprived children?

Our more affluent children have it aplenty but the kids who are poor are left out. It makes me abject.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #64)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 11:47 AM

107. I went there too! They are so different in the flesh...


... as if fallen into the world from a dream.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:17 PM

78. I read the book Lust for Life....

if I am remembering correctly, he said in one of his letters to Theo "I have to go, I feel an abstraction coming on."

That is one of the books that made me cry.

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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #78)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:36 PM

86. I must read that book...thanks for mentioning it to me...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 11:46 PM

89. Huge celebration of Vincent Van Gogh in 2015

 

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:21 AM

91. Bookmarked for FOREVER

Thank you.
I got to see the real "starry night" at MoMA a month ago.

edited to add this link in case no-one else has done so



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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 12:49 AM

92. Another gorgeous essay. I have loved Van Gogh from the first...

My mom used to have this stack of slim art books with full color reproductions and encouraged us kids to look at them all. Even as a child I loved the swirls, intensity, and depth of color of this artist.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #92)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 10:42 AM

105. Thanks for the sweet complment! I love doing the research and always have a pile of

books from my library and the other libraries around. And so much is online. I'm working on several ideas for further essays here. I'm snowbound a lot and can do a lot of pondering, reading and writing. In a couple of weeks I'll have another...

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #93)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 01:21 AM

94. Thank you for that!

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 02:37 AM

95. thank you for this.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 07:59 AM

103. My own personal Van Gogh epiphany came with the Church at Auvers



Up to that point, I naively believed that museums were sort of unnecessary, that if I wanted to enjoy paintings, a coffee table book would suffice. Then I turned the corner in a salle at the Musée D'Orsay and there it was. I'd seen photographs of that particular painting many times before, but to see it right there in front of me was a revelation. It was like an entirely different work of art. No picture I've ever found in a book or online will ever do justice to the beauty and the brilliance of the blue I saw that day.

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #103)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 07:56 PM

120. The Musee D'Orsay is a blessing...

I see the blue in this painting and can only imagine it in real life...it's stunning enough in reproduction online! All that blue and...then, that red orange roof section! OMG...

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 02:30 PM

114. WUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNderful!!!

This has soothed my inner savage beast this morning. Had a small meltdown last night in frustration and woke up feeling sour about a whole boatload of things. THIS offered a MOST welcome respite! EXACTLY when I needed one!

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Response to calimary (Reply #114)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 02:42 PM

116. art is my therapy too.

So when I feel as you were feeling I very deliberately go to one of my art books or online to look up a particular artist...then I get carried away and find myself lost in art for long, intense sessions.

I'm a little frustrated by the weather and trying to figure out how to cope. So I've been researching on several artists and particular works that I have loved and been fascinated by. Sometimes I find a particular gesture or use of color so intensely riveting I can't stop looking at it...I have on a few occasions fallen asleep at my keyboard (if it is late at night and I'm tired)...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #116)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 03:05 PM

117. Hah! I know how that is!

"I have on a few occasions fallen asleep at my keyboard (if it is late at night and I'm tired)..."

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 02:33 PM

115. No photograph can ever do Van Gogh's work justice.

 

Standing in the presence of the actual work and seeing it with your own eyes is awe inspiring. Some of his work has brought tears to my eyes.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Sep 5, 2015, 05:22 PM

124. Somewhat off-track but still interesting. Van Gogh understood the human optic system.

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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:31 PM

126. Puck. :>)


I was able to view this in Sept at MoMA.

What stunned me was how small it is.
Too many people.
I waited for several hours until just before closing so I could get closer..


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Response to pangaia (Reply #126)

Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:34 PM

127. I was hoping to get to MoMA last April but illness of my art buddy and my own health issues

interfered...it was a bad year...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #127)

Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:37 PM

128. You know, I just rrealized this mpost was from last year.



Hope you are doing better.





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Response to pangaia (Reply #128)

Sat Feb 13, 2016, 05:41 PM

129. getting there, but slowly and with setbacks. I have to talk to my neuro doc about

my shaking hands (due to the meds he's prescribed?). This morning I was shaking like a leaf and I don't get it...

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