Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New light on Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh continues to fascinate, both as a person and as an artist. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is collaborating with the Folio Society on a facsimile edition of his surviving sketchbooks, sample pages of which appear below. Among the new facets on his life is a theory that he did not commit suicide but was protecting a youth who may have shot him accidentally.
Meanwhile, DNA samples taken from a red hair that was embedded in the contested "Still Life with Peonies" (below) are being compared with those from Van Gogh's living relatives. If there's a match, the relatively large painting—found in 1997 in a Belgian attic—will probably bring a dollar for every speck of paint on it.

13 comments:

  1. Its quite fascinating what DNA can prove these days, A PAINTING!!!! WHOA!!!!

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  2. That possible new Van Gogh is gorgeous! I don't even care if it's authentically Vincent or not.

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  3. This is a difficult problem--a negative match would not be proof of anything. It is nearly impossible to prove someone didn't do something, without a confession from someone else.
    The painting is within his style, but a general laxity makes me doubt. Really have to see the painting itself to make a wager.

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  4. I just have to believe it, the story is so much better that way:)

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    1. Ah, ever the romantic!

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  5. This just goes to show how 'art' is decided based on societal and monetary distinctions rather than anything else. Regardless of the results of the DNA test, the painting will still be the exact same.

    It's just as beautiful to me without knowing, but maybe I'm just a cynic.

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    1. Brand names are worth money, fair or not. You can buy your art from the Starving Artists for $20, hang it on your wall, and when friends ask you who the artist is, say, "Joe Blow...oh, haven't you heard of him? You will!"

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    2. It's not as much about the art (although it is certainly beautiful), but more about the historical perspective of it. If someone found an old wine goblet in Greenwich that may have belonged to Henry VIII it would obviously fetch a lot more money than if it was just any old wine goblet. Obviously, the monetary value of something goes up if it's a piece of history...

      Personally I think that painting is vastly more interesting if it was done by Van Gogh himself rather than some random dude copying his style.

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    3. Well, some people would pay more for a towel that might have wiped Elvis's sweat.
      For me, the art makes the artist, and whatever causes Van Gogh to be valued as an artist must be found in his work. So his work must have some outstanding characteristics inherent to his work--which would distinguish it from all others.
      Pater tells of a painting done mostly by Verrocchio, in which an angel was painted by a young DaVinci. So striking was the young man's talent, that the angel is unmistakeably different from its surroundings.
      True or not, it should be true--that the work of a genius's hand must show, and the work of a proper critic is to discern it always.

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  6. When will we know the answer?

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    1. good question .... I should think fairly soon.

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  7. I always think its amazing how much value we place on things that in reality don't have any value unless we, with our brains, put a value on it. It is amazing to me that everything essentially is done for free, but we create a value to merit its rarity so that not everyone is able to obtain the item(s) in question.

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    1. Do you work for a living?

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