Vincent Van Gogh

Van_Gogh_Self-Portrait_with_Straw_Hat_1887-Metropolitan 102813One of the most infamous post impressionist painters is Dutch painter Vincent Willem van Gogh. He lived from 1853 to 1890. During his lifetime he was well known for his works because of their rough beauty, bold colors and emotional honesty. His works have been a great influence on the 20th century and now into the 21st century. VanGogh lived a life filled with many bouts of mental illness, he died at the young age of 37 from a gunshot wound, many believe was self-inflicted even though the gun has never been found. At the time of his death, Van Gogh’s works were not known or appreciated by many different people.

VanGogh’s creativity began to show during his childhood, he drew pictures for many years before making the decision to become an artist. The decision to paint did not come about until he was in his late twenties. It was during his twenties that his best works came to be. Over a ten year period he created more than two thousand works of art. These works of art consisted of drawings, sketches, prints, thirteen hundred watercolors, and eight hundred sixty oil paintings. His works consisted of self portraits, stil lifes such as fields, sunflowers and wheat fields, portraits and even a self portrait.

His early years as an adult were spent traveling and working for art dealers. At one time he thought of becoming a pastor and even worked in a missionary in Belgium prior to his sketching people from the community. His first major piece of work known as the Potato Eaters was painted in 1885. During 1886 Van Gogh moved to Paris and discovered French impressionism. Since his death many have speculated and criticized how much his bouts of mental illness affected his works through out his life. Just before his death Van Gogh was at the height of his artistic abilities and had developed complete control over his artistic abilities.

Art History

800px-Sleeping_Antelope_Tin_Taghirt rock carving 102813Historical art is comprised of many different objects developed with the use of the insight, emotions, passion and eye of the artist. The development of art comes in many forms and genres. The genres of art are based on their design format, and style. The major arts include categories such as architecture, sculpture, and painting. The type of arts considered to be minor include decorative objects such as furniture design and building as well as the art of ceramics.

The study of the many different forms of art is known as Art History. The history of art is comprised of several styles and methods of the study of visual art such as paintings, sculptures and architecture. Art historians believe the study of art history is divided in three parts, the art connoisseur, academia, and the art critic. Art history is not seen as a criticism of the many different works of art studied, instead this type of study is to establish the artistic value of many different works in comparison to works of art from other genres to place a value on them as seen by others.

Andy Warhol Soup CansAnother branch of study of the arts is art theory or philosophy of art. Philosophy of art is the study of the beauty, nature of the piece, or just how pleasing the object of art is to the eye of the beholder. While all the methods mentioned here are the many different studies of the arts, they are not the definition of Art History. Art History or the art historian is studying the art to get answer to many different questions. Some of the questions include who did the artist study to perfect their craftsmanship? What was the purpose of the piece or what happened to bring the creation to the artists mind to be developed. Whose attention did the artist want to capture with their object how did the piece created by the specific artist shape the world of art both during its time of creation and the history of art and future generations.

Define Art

When people think of visual arts they think of very expensive paintings and sculptures by historically famous people normally only found on display for all to see in Museums around the world.  The truth is visual arts are actually comprised of many different forms of pictures or objects developed through many different types of venues.  Some of the most common forms of art are in fact paintings, sculptures, and even photography.

William ShakespeareFor those who consider themselves to be an art enthusiast or connoisseur realize that art takes many different forms.  In addition to the visual arts creative expressing is developed and shared with all through the performing arts.  Many are able to share their gifts or talents through dance, film, theater, and music.  Rather than using their hands to develop and display their creativity the Performing artist displays their creativity and artistic expressions through the use of voice or body. 

Some examples of performing arts are dance such as ballet, folk, river dance, and ballroom dancing.  Musical performing arts include musical theater and films, opera, illusion, puppetry, even a magic or mime show are considered to be among the list of performing arts.

Drama-icon.svgThe theater is a venue in which live performers present their talents by sharing their artistic abilities of speech, song, or dance in front of a live audience.  The stage is designed to help the audience better feel and envision the message of the performers.  Some of the most common forms of performance see in today’s modern theatrical experience are plays and musicals such as operas and ballets.

Genres of the performing arts include Drama, Comedy, Tragic Plays, improve, comedy and musicals.  Improvisation is an artists ability to perform in front of a live audience on the spur of the moment, their performance is made up of a drama, comedy or tragic play that did not exist prior to the moment they are performing it on stage.  An example of modern drama is a play by Eugene O’Neill, A Long Day’s Journey into night.   An early modern tragedy, and one of the most well known is Shakespeare’s Hamlet.   Those listed here are just a few of the many plays read in schools around the world.  They are considered to be a part of history.