Vincent Van Gogh Prints

Written by Serena Berger
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Vincent Van Gogh prints capture the unique sensibility of a painter who has one of the most dramatic and tragic stories in the history of art. A melancholy and depressed man who suffered periods of great restlessness, anger, or sadness, Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime and, in only 10 years of painting, went through several distinct styles. His first period was influenced heavily by the Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt. The most famous painting from this period, The Potato Eaters, shows the culmination of this style: the use of a limited number of colors, thin and shining shadows, and concentrated colors, along with Van Gogh's obviously humanitarian leanings in subject matter.

Vincent Van Gogh Prints from Arles

After moving from Paris to Arles, a quiet area in southern France, Van Gogh painted over 200 works in just over a year. An emblematic example of this era is Wheatfields with Cypress at Arles. During this time, Van Gogh found his own style, applied color in simplified, saturated masses, and developed his trademark of radiant objects emitting no shadows. This is a poignant metaphor for the emotional and mental problems that plagued Van Gogh; it was at the end of his time in Arles that he famously cut off his ear in response to a fight with the painter Gauguin and had himself committed to an asylum.

Of all Vincent Van Gogh prints, the most commercially popular is Starry Night. Van Gogh painted this piece while in an asylum at Saint Remy completely from memory, as it was his preference not to be outdoors. While not much is known of Van Gogh's personal interpretation of the painting, some have speculated a religious meaning and have argued that the 11 stars are a reference to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament.

Perhaps somewhat ironically, many of Van Gogh's paintings are serene in nature, such as Café Terrace at Night and Branches L'ammandier En Fleur. Many of Van Gogh's paintings were self portraits, but he also painted still lifes, particularly favoring flowers. Among the more well known Vincent Van Gogh prints are paintings of sunflowers.

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