Van Gogh Painting to Be Displayed at Butler Institute

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A painting by Vincent van Gogh, “In the Dunes” (In de Duinen), goes on display March 26 at the Butler Institute of American Art, the result of “an indefinite loan to the Butler from a private Ohio collection, the museum announced this morning.

The artwork is an oil on board landscape painted by van Gogh in 1883 in The Hague. Van Gogh is a post-impressionist master, and the painting to be displayed by The Butler “predicts the artist’s later recognizable style of paint application, composition and emotion.,” according to the announcement.

Said the museum’s director, Louis Zona, “Although Vincent van Gogh lived more than a century ago, his work continues to influence the world’s artists’ views of beauty, as well as their style of painting. This is also true of the artists of this nation who, in the 20th century, became enamored of van Gogh’s paintings. It is wonderful to display this landscape here where van Gogh’s influence can clearly be seen within the Butler’s collection of American masterpieces.”

Here is a short biography of van Gogh as provided by The Butler:

Van Gogh was born in and grew up in Holland. Although his father was a minister, Vincent first followed his uncle’s profession and became an art dealer in Holland; later he worked as an art dealer in England and France. Vincent grew tired of the business of art, especially in Paris and, after returning home, began to study theology and worked as a missionary in a coal mining community.

In 1880, at age 27, van Gogh entered the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The following winter, living in Amsterdam, he began painting. He lived frugally, explored color theory, and studied the works of the great artists. Van Gogh was painting peasants and rural landscapes using dark earth tones, and In the Dunes (In de Duinen) is an example of these early works. His brother Theo, an art dealer and the recipient of many letters from Vincent, encouraged his brother to accentuate color in his work. Around this same time, Impressionism, with its bright vivid colors, was becoming popular.

Van Gogh moved to Paris where his art began to take on the style that would make him famous. There, he discussed art with some of the most avant-garde and influential artists of his time – including Gauguin, Bernard, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Inspired by his surroundings, he began to use more color, applying the paint with thick, bold brushstrokes. Van Gogh’s work received positive reviews, but he was able to sell very few pieces in his lifetime.

Van Gogh moved to Arles, France, where he was joined by Gauguin. While there, van Gogh entered the most productive and creative period of his life painting his famous Sunflowers. It was also was a time of great turmoil for the artist who began a period of hospital stays for mental illness and physical decline.

After just 10 years of painting and producing some 900 paintings, Vincent van Gogh took his own life in 1890. Never fully appreciated in his own time, it took only twenty years after van Gogh’s death for the art world to recognize the genius they lost.

SOURCE: The Butler Institute of American Art


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