Monthly Archives: February 2010

Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy, London

The exhibition at the Royal Academy is made up of hundreds of oils watercolours and drawings by Van Gogh. It is a rare opportunity to so many paintings together especially with the drawings and letters relating to the paintings placed alongside each one. The popular vision of Van Gogh is of a tormented expressionist, but the paintings, letters and drawings offer an opportunity for a wider appreciation of the depth of this artist. Here we find a very thoughtful and reflective mind, inspired by the example of other painters, by literature and by a tender vision of humanity in all its earthly glory, with a great appreciation of the aesthetic and expressive possibilities of colour.

Van Gogh was born in 1853 in North Brabant, Holland, the son of a pastor. After an early career in the art world he himself became an evangelical preacher amongst the poor, before finding his true vocation as a painter. His paintings often drew on religious subject matter, such as the Sower, a theme he returned to many times.