Rebecca Howland's Favorite Vincent van Gogh Picks

Rebecca Howland's Favorite Vincent van Gogh Picks

Vincent van Gogh, born on March 30, 1853, and passing on July 29, 1890, remains one of the most celebrated figures in the history of Western art. Despite a life marked by personal turmoil and a career that lasted a mere decade, van Gogh's post-impressionistic works have left an indelible mark on the art world. His use of vivid colors, emotive brushwork, and innovative techniques helped lay the foundations for modern art, influencing generations of artists to come.

Van Gogh's oeuvre encompasses a range of styles beyond post-impressionism, including elements of pointillism, a technique characterized by the application of small, distinct dots of color applied in patterns to form an image. His exploration of color theory and bold, expressive strokes contributed significantly to the development of fauvism and expressionism. Through his art, van Gogh sought to convey intense emotions and the beauty of the world around him, from the tranquil landscapes of the French countryside to the bustling streets of Paris.

Join us on an online art tour as we delve into some of the most famous paintings of Vincent van Gogh. This curated journey, led by art enthusiasts and experts, offers a unique opportunity to explore the masterpieces that have captivated audiences worldwide. From the religious-themed painting of "Still Life with Bible" to the application of the Pointillism style of "Interior of a Restaurant" each piece tells a story of struggle, beauty, and the relentless pursuit of artistic expression.

Still Life with Bible c. 1885 1885; Nunen / Nuenen, Netherlands Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Still Life Painting of Bible

Located in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, "Still Life with Bible" is a poignant reflection of van Gogh's complex relationship with religion. Painted in 1885, during his early years in Nuenen, this work contrasts the worn Bible, symbolizing traditional Christian faith, with Émile Zola's novel "La Joie de Vivre," representing modern beliefs. The painting is a silent dialogue between faith and skepticism, a theme that deeply resonated with van Gogh throughout his life.

Avenue in Voyer d'Argenson Park at Asnières, 1887, Paris, France

Avenue lined with Popular Trees

This painting marks van Gogh's transition towards brighter, more vibrant colors, influenced by his time in Paris. The "Avenue in Voyer d'Argenson Park at Asnières" captures the tranquil beauty of the suburban landscape, with its lush greenery and leisurely strolling figures. It's a celebration of nature and simplicity, themes that van Gogh would revisit throughout his career.

Bridges across the Seine at Asnières, 1887, Paris, France

Bridges across the Seine

"Bridges across the Seine at Asnières" is a vivid portrayal of modern life in Paris. The painting showcases van Gogh's fascination with the industrial age, featuring the Seine River and its bridges bustling with activity. The use of bright, contrasting colors and dynamic brushstrokes captures the vibrancy and energy of Parisian society.

Entrance to the Voyer-d'Argenson Park at Asnières, 1887, Paris, France

Entrance to a park

Another gem from his Paris period, this painting depicts a serene entrance to the Voyer-d'Argenson Park. Van Gogh's use of light and shadow, combined with his distinctive brushwork, creates a welcoming, peaceful scene. It's a snapshot of tranquility amidst the bustling city life, inviting viewers to pause and appreciate the beauty of everyday moments.

Fishing in the Spring, 1887, Paris, France

Two fishermen on the river

"Fishing in the Spring" is a testament to van Gogh's love for nature and his ability to find beauty in simple, mundane activities. The painting captures a fisherman immersed in his task, surrounded by the blooming splendor of spring. Van Gogh's use of fresh, lively colors and fluid brushstrokes conveys a sense of renewal and hope.

Flowerpot with Chives, 1887, Paris, France

Chives in a flower pot

This painting is a delightful study of color and form, showcasing a simple flowerpot with chives. It reflects van Gogh's interest in Japanese art, evident in the painting's composition and the delicate treatment of the subject. "Flowerpot with Chives" is a celebration of nature's understated beauty, highlighting van Gogh's ability to transform ordinary objects into works of art.

Fortifications of Paris with Houses, 1887, Paris, France

Outside of a French Fort

In this painting, van Gogh captures the juxtaposition of Paris's historic fortifications against the backdrop of modern urban life. The contrast between the ancient walls and the contemporary houses reflects the city's evolution and the passage of time. Van Gogh's palette of muted earth tones, interspersed with pops of color, adds depth and complexity to the scene.

Fritillaries in a Copper Vase, 1887, Paris, France

Flowers in a copper vase

This stunning floral arrangement is one of van Gogh's most celebrated still lifes. "Fritillaries in a Copper Vase" is a riot of color, with the vibrant orange flowers set against a striking blue background. The painting is a masterclass in contrast and composition, showcasing van Gogh's skill in capturing the beauty and fragility of nature.

Interior of a Restaurant, 1887, Paris, France

Interior of a restaurant

"Interior of a Restaurant" is a fine example of van Gogh's experimentation with Neo-Impressionism and Pointillism. The painting offers a glimpse into a Parisian café, with patrons engaged in conversation or lost in thought. Van Gogh's use of light and color creates a warm, inviting atmosphere, inviting viewers to step into the scene.

As our exploration of Vincent van Gogh's masterpieces concludes, we are reminded of the profound impact this post-impressionist artist has had on the world of art and beyond. Van Gogh's ability to convey emotion through color, texture, and movement invites viewers into a deeply personal space, offering a glimpse into the soul of a man who found solace and expression through his brush. This online art tour not only celebrates van Gogh's artistic genius but also encourages us to see the world through his eyes—finding beauty in the mundane, hope in despair, and light in darkness.

Van Gogh's paintings, characterized by their vibrant colors and emotional intensity, continue to resonate with audiences around the globe, transcending time and cultural boundaries. Through this virtual journey, we've traversed the landscapes of his mind, from the wheat fields of Arles to the starry night over Saint-Rémy, each painting a testament to his enduring legacy. As we reflect on the art of Vincent van Gogh, let us carry forward the lessons of creativity, resilience, and the unyielding pursuit of passion that his work embodies.

In closing, this online art tour serves not only as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh's extraordinary contributions to art but also as an invitation to all of us to view the world with wonder, empathy, and an open heart. May we continue to be inspired by van Gogh's journey, finding in his paintings a source of comfort, inspiration, and endless fascination.


Rebecca HowlandMy name is Rebecca Howland and I graduated from California State University of Bakersfield with my bachelor's in art history and graduated from California State University of Northridge with my master's in history. I am currently residing in the greater Houston area working as an educational program developer at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts. I enjoy using my background in education to encourage others to learn more about the arts and history in order to apply that knowledge in their everyday life. I am excited to share my passion, knowledge, and experiences with all of you on my tours!
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