A volume which explores Van Gogh’s oeuvre through two fundamental aspects of his artistic identity: his love for the countryside and his attachment to the city. Admired for his light-filled landscapes as much as for his impassioned portraits, Vincent van Gogh was an impetuous painter with a cavalier disregard for convention when it suited him. At the same time he was a sophisticated thinker, fluent in several languages, and trained as an art dealer. Though often plagued by several doubts about his work, he was immensely ambitious and ultimately had a clear sense of his oeuvre as a whole and the place it was to take in the history of art.
Such apparently contradictory positions define much of Van Gogh’s life and artistic output. They are also at the basis of this volume, which explores Van Gogh’s oeuvre through two fundamental aspects of his artistic identity: his love for the countryside as a stable, never-changing environment and his attachment to the city as the center of fast-moving, modern life.
The catalog features works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Jean-Francois Millet, Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Charles Francois Daubigny, Anton Mauve; prints after Daubigny, Daumier, Millet, that Van Gogh himself collected and copied as well as etchings and aquatints by Pissarro and Cezanne; and five letters written by Van Gogh to friends, colleagues, and art critics. It accompanies an exhibition at Complesso Monumentale del Vittoriano that begins on February 20, 2011.
Former assistant director of curatorial affairs and curator of modern art at St. Louis Art Museum, Cornelia Homburg is a writer and a curator of modern art.