Vincents Joy



Vincent’s Joy
Vincent van Gogh was a famous Dutch Post-Impressionist artist, whose unique artwork revolved around a curious joy of absorbing nature and its surroundings, then transforming what he saw into a distinctive style of expressionist art. Vincent created this distinctive style by expressing his emotions with a certain method of brush strokes and the color he blended with his brush strokes into his paintings.
The van Gogh family and a number of powerful artists of that period had a great deal of influence on how Vincent van Gogh created his unique and colorful brush strokes (Wallace 9). The family influence on his unique and distinctive style of art began the day he was born on March 30, 1853. Vincent was born into a family of religious and artistic relatives who were mourning the death of his older brother. Vincent’s brother was born and died by stillbirth on the exact date that Vincent was born, a year later. It was a very odd coincidence and even odder when their parents gave Vincent Willem van Gogh the exact name they had given his older brother.
The stillborn baby was buried in a graveyard next to the family’s church where his father was a Protestant minister. The gravestone of Vincent’s brother was inscribed with the words “VINCENT VAN GOGH” “1852” “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the KINGDOM OF GOD” (Sweetman 7).
The death of his older brother effected Vincent throughout his life, and his curiosity of his older brother with the exact name, birth date and date of death, would take Vincent on long walks past his brother’s grave. (Torterolo 8). He would turn these curious walks from his home to his brother’s grave into an adventure of wonder and he began exploring the colors and textures of nature.
He was a typical, ordinary child with a special gift of wonder and curiosity and would spend hours examining every detail of color and texture within a flower, leaf, bush, insect and anything of nature that caught his eye. Instead of playing with other children, he would prefer to play alone outside and was drawn to discovering nature like a bee to honey.
As Vincent explored the road to and from the graveyard, he examined the colors and textures on a small scale, remembering every detail at an early age. As he grew older, these details would contribute to help him paint the larger scales of landscapes, trees, skies and water.
Vincent’s nature walks became more interesting and meaningful when his younger brother, Theodorus (Theo) van Gogh was able to accompany him. Theo was two years younger than Vincent and became his closest companion throughout his life. Together they would spend hours playing and exploring the Dutch countryside. Later in life, Vincent would write over 600 letters to Theo explaining the many colors he was mixing in his paintings, comparing them to the colors and textures they discovered on their nature walks when they were young boys.
His mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus who liked to sketch and paint wildflowers in her spare time as a hobby, was born into a family of art dealers. Vincent’s father, Theodorus (Dorus) van Gogh was a Protestant minister who came from a large family of religious ministers and art dealers. This combination of influences from his mother’s background in art and his father’s religion became an inner struggle for Vincent. These influences also had a deep impact on his life, how he viewed art and would eventually lead him to paint with dramatic bright colors and develop his own unique style of painting.
The religious background of his father drew him towards the dramatic religious experiences that were portrayed in many masterpieces of art that Rembrandt created. Rembrandt’s paintings were a mixture of drama and tenderness, and of dark and light colors. This mixture of drama and colors caught Vincent’s curiosity and became another great influence in the development of his unique color and style. The influence of these dark, dramatic, powerful scenes with light tender highlighted glows within them stayed with Vincent throughout his entire life and were revealed in many of his own paintings.
Vincent’s namesake, Dorus’s brother, was known as Uncle Cent and was a wonderful influence in Vincent’s life.