My recent visit to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam has in fact left me speechless with such a positive effect. While I have always been inspired by the works of Vincent van Gogh, to see them in real has had an effect that words could hardly describe.
Some of the emotions I’ve tried to capture, but words fail me. I am limited by my language trying to describe the works of a man who saw the world in its most beautiful and vivid self. Of course, the digital reproductions themselves do no justice to the actual colours that shine in all their brilliance! (none of the images that I saw prepared me for the actual experience!)
Some words with which I tried to capture the experience in futility,
“Here I am,
I stand before the works of a man who loved life as much as it can be possibly loved,
so much so that his love, earning and pain seeps out of his canvas to hold me in a heartbreakingly beautiful trance.
Here is a man who painted love in all its innocent beauty.
Oh! how would it be to live inside one of his paintings?!”
His was a world that added beauty to beauty, a different more sensitive way of looking at the world around. Each brush stroke, I could feel, was a splash of emotion.
“The beauty of van Gogh’s paintings are so intense such that its beauty was radiating as the golden rays of the Sun at dawn that made everyone, everything basking in its radiance as lovely and beautiful as the paintings themselves”.
What am I seeing in front of me? Emotions! Not views or visions, but emotions and feelings given birth by brush and paint! Before these paintings I stand naked and innocent!
“I could almost be there, inside the painting. The storm brewing. I could feel the wind unsettling the dust, ravaging the wheat. A lone bird hastily flying past to her nest and a distant silhouette of a farmer hurrying to his hut all the more accentuates the loneliness of the position.
I could feel the loneliness of van Gogh himself deeply affecting my heart. There are no signs of the peasants whom he admired so much. Is this paradise? ”
“…. And it does me good to do what’s difficult. That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word — for religion — so I go outside at night to paint the stars, and I always dream a painting like that…”
Vincent van Gogh, letter to Theo van Gogh, 29 September 1888
“…. and up from my rotting corpse, trees and plants and flowers will grow,
and the Sun will warm them and I will be in them,
and nothing will perish,
that is immortality”
-Edvard Munch, 1890
van Gogh museum, Amsterdam, 24 January 2016
- Almond blossom,1890 – http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0176V1962
- The Pink Peach Tree, 1888 – http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0025V1962
- Wheat field with a Reaper, 1889 – http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0049V1962
- Garden of the Asylum, 1889 – http://slaapkamergeheimen.vangoghmuseum.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/garden-of-the-asylum.jpg
- Wheat field under Thunder clouds, 1890 – http://www.wikiart.org/en/vincent-van-gogh/wheatfields-under-thunderclouds-1890
- Field with Crows, 1890 – https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/asset-viewer/wheatfield-with-crows/dwFdD5AMQfpSew?utm_source=google&utm_medium=kp&hl=en&projectId=art-project
- Self-portrait with Straw hat, 1887 – http://www.vangoghgallery.com/catalog/Painting/2105/Self-Portrait-with-Straw-Hat.html