Van Gogh in focus: Van Gogh and Impressionism

A publication in the Van Gogh in focus series.

Van Gogh and Impressionism

Van Gogh and Impressionism

John House
80 pages, 56 illustrations
English, Dutch, French,
hardcover, € 10
Van Gogh Museum Publications, 2012
ISBN 978 90 79310 33 3
Volume 7 in the Van Gogh in focus series

Book preview

The appearance of Vincent van Gogh’s art was transformed by his encounters with French Impressionist painting. It was the work of the Impressionists, who sought to capture the transient effects of colour and light, that encouraged him during his stay in Paris to abandon the sombre palette of his earlier canvases and to adopt the rich, vibrant colour range of his most celebrated works.

Discovery of Impressionism
This book follows Van Gogh’s discovery of and interaction with the Impressionism of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas as well as his observation of how artists such as Bernard, Signac, Seurat and Gauguin reacted against it.

Though Van Gogh assimilated the achievements of the Impressionists, in the end he returned to the ideas about emotive colour that he had begun to explore in Holland. The Impressionists provided him with the basis to develop the ever more fluid and energized touch that gives his later paintings such a vivid sense of an underlying life force. Without Impressionism he would not have become the painter we know today.

John House (1945-2012) was Professor Emeritus at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he taught from 1980-2010.



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