IM-51 video materials

The Power of Art — Van Gogh (complete episode)

Change of plans 

Vincent Van Gogh (Ван Гог) support statements & vocab:

– Theo, what am I in the eyes of most people?

Just for once everything was going right for VG

He has been hailed by the critics as the genius of the future.

He was painting like a daemon – a picture a day

«Wheat field with crows» – a revolutionary masterpiece; it's the painting which begins modern art;

All his life Vincent had this child-like faith that his art revolution would be seen by everyone

A cry of anguished frustration; to realize a vision in painting; a shout of triumph;

A tortured artist; a mad genius – sliced his ear off, didn't he? ?

How could a man like that make art as stunning as this??? 

Mental sickness – Vincent though as «illumination»; a new vision of what art could be; a revelation of heaven here on Earth; intelligence burning away; not a creature of blind instinct at all but an insatiable bookworm;

(sometimes making things up – Fabricius and Bida are counted among the younger masters… ?) 

underneath the scabby face (smallpox); lived the life of the mind; search for salvation;

his father – the reverend Theodore Van Gogh (Rev. Van Gogh); the South Netherlands; Calvinistic gloom;

Victorian gas-light streets; starchy young Dutchman rediscovered the word of Jesus; our life is like the Pilgrim's Progress (Christian allegory by John Bunyan, 1678 – one of the most significant works of religious literature);  he appointed himself as a missionary to the destitute; dispossessed; the drunks and the whores – Vincent grew to despise the world of the galleries; the missionary society got rid of him – excessive zeal apparently; this would be Vincent's new calling; that man feels deeply and keenly;   

Art would succeed where the church had failed;  it would bring salvation and comfort;

Open the eyes to the miraculous force of life; the sense that heaven was in simple things; 

Klasina Hoornik – his unlikely muse; the food of Vincent's inspiration; steadfast support of brother Theo;

Unsailable pictures; not exactly the apple of their eye (the parents'); he is a filthy beast;

«The potato eaters» is his first knock-out masterpiece; manual labor – a meal honestly earned; 


Paul Gauguin; Zen Buddhism; nourishing light of the Sun; «The Sower»; Vincent waited in a fever of excited preparation; Vincent was fascinated with the opposites which were also complimentaries; the opposition between barren and fruitful worlds; Gauguin had found the friendly competition amusing, creatively challenging; art as a swim in pure sensation – «don't sweat it, it's just a dream»; but for Vincent there was no joy without sweat – into the world, not away from it; a serious space problem; epileptic (epilepsy), struggling with depression and scary mood swings; brothel; committed himself voluntarily to a mental asylum nearby; if I recover I must start afresh; his madness was both the destroyer and the midwife of his masterpieces; battle to keep disintegration at bay; there is no remedy, except one, which is to work; great power surge of creative fury; he is translating mental upheaval into a revolution on canvas; a specialist in melancholy; landscapes as mindscapes; all our assumptions of how to read visual signs are wickedly scrambled; suffocation and elation; the pilgrim had gone the distance; mortally wounded – a single shot to the abdomen; with a handshake – ever yours, Vincent; 

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38 лет (08.04.1980)
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