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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Brothers in Arles

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Brothers in Arles: BIOGRAPHY I The Studio of the South was Vincent van Gogh’s dream — Paul Gauguin came along for the ride

Gail Starr, Special to the Sun

Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007


Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks

in Arles


Little, Brown/H.B. Fenn, 339 pages ($32.99)

An interesting review – and with two links that I followed up and spent a lot of time on. So, since this is a web log, it is worth giving the actual URLs which work – unlike the ones in the Sun.

The Art Institute of Chicago has a fairly straightforward approach – easy to navigate and find what you want and some nice larger scale reproductions of the paintings – though all small enough to deter copying. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on the other hand, has all this and more – even though the “experience” is little bit overdone, in my view, relying heavily on the viewer “interacting” in ways that are sometimes  hard to detect. But nice music for the multi-media fans. Have a fast connection though – it takes a while to load – but well worth the time I think.

Van Gogh has, of course, become something of a modern icon. His paintings now command some of the highest prices in the world. His life is so well documented – mainly in his own letters to his brother, Theo – that he has been the subject of many books and films. And the Don McLean song “Vincent”. But despite all that – or maybe because of it – his mental illness, his poverty and generosity, his suicide – seeing his paintings has always had a profound impact. Not just on me but literally millions. And I have stood in front of his paintings in Paris, Amsterdam and Chicago – as well as in London – and they always stun me. I live with two large prints – Thatched Cottages at Cordeville and The Harvest – in my sitting room.

“But I could have told you Vincent
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”

Josh Groban 

Written by Stephen Rees

January 27, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Art, personal thoughts

One Response

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  1. Just watched a Knowledge Network broadcast of the BBC program
    Private Life of a Masterpiece: Sunflowers which tells the story behind Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting “Sunflowers.”

    Well worth catching if it comes your way again – it gives a lot of credit to Vincent’s sister in law for making him famous

    – and, by the way, there are over 70,000 images of sunflowers on flickr

    Stephen Rees

    March 27, 2007 at 8:32 pm

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