Vincent Van Gogh's Post-Impressionism In The Late 19th Century

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MacCarthy (1911, pp.8, 9) argued that the Post-Impressionists were far more expressive of emotions than the Impressionists. Post-Impressionism is the group of painters included Gauguin, Cezanne, Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh working in France in the 1880s. Post-Impressionists intended to express beyond the impression which is the main concern of the Impressionists, while subjects of the Impressionists' painting are mainly landscapes or scenes of modern suburban life. Indeed, in the Post-Impressionist paintings, the important thing is the expression of "emotional significance" (McCarthy, 1911, pp.8, 9). Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), one of the Post-Impressionists, is outstanding in terms of expressing his emotions and character in the painting. …show more content…
Eeden (1974, pp. 60) also said that Van Gogh extracted the genuine colours in the subject and make a beautiful combination or contrast. In Self-Portrait (1889), there are the painter's emotional and mental turmoil and a pressured feeling which is aroused from the period in the mental hospital in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the painting. Thus, the pattern, brushstrokes, line, and the impact of colour work for the painter's self-expression. Relating to self-expression of Van Gogh's characteristics and life, Zemel (1977, pp.3) argues that almost all critics consider the paintings as extraction his feelings such as madness, intense inspiration and mental instability. However, unlike Van Gogh's unstable mind, he tried to express himself in control and discreet observation. It is true that he intended to portray himself as it as shown, because he wrote in his letter to Theo, his brother, that "I was thin, pale as a devil. It's dark violet blue and the head whiteish with yellow hair" (Gogh, 1889). Thus, he painted his fiery orange hair and beard and pale skin accurately on the canvas and the light background which is the same colour as his clothes to make a great contrast between his face and the background. Because of the contrast, the attention is focused on his face expressing his emotion and mind. Therefore, the …show more content…
He absorbed all the feelings and the things around him and intended to express all of them on the canvas. Therefore, his careful observation of himself and his distinctive painting techniques contribute to constructing the emotional-expressive painting. Certainly, his intense temperament and winding life which lead his painting into the light are the main point of Van Gogh criticism usually. Nevertheless, the fine colour combinations, strong colour contrasts, and the thick brushstrokes that he uses are the best way to express Van Gogh's long-lasting anxiety and depression gained from the hardship in the asylum. Consequently, Self-Portrait (1889) let a viewer experience and sympathise the personal feeling of Van Gogh beyond the impression from the

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