I never quite ‘got’ all the fuss about Van Gogh’s work… His paintings always looked a little strange to me.
And then I went to MoMA a few years ago and saw ‘The Starry Night‘ for the first time and just like the Jackson Pollock pieces I’d seen minutes before, it grabbed me and gave me a thorough shake. I’d never seen paintings where texture leapt off the canvas. (I still find myself looking down the side of Mr P’s works – as close as I’m allowed – to try take pictures of how the paint lies on the canvas – or indeed looks as if it’s fighting with gravity – literally trying to leap off the surface).
Last December, we went back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This time we wandered around their modern art section and saw Van Gogh’s ‘Wheat Field With Cypresses‘. Yet again I was absolutely fascinated by the sheer thickness of paint applied to the canvas, which had then been shaped – carved almost – into clouds, olive trees, cypresses, even the wheat in the fields.
And I ‘got it’ – or at least I fell in love with the style of those particular two paintings – seen with my own eyes. (I’m sorry to say that I’m not too fond of his ‘flatter’ works…)
I’ve just found out (thanks Wikipedia!) That this is one of three different versions of the same painting Van Gogh did whilst in the mental asylum near Saint-Remy.
As was my wont this trip, I took close-up photos of the parts of pieces of work that fascinated me.
This is one of those photos.
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