Vincent Van Gogh – “The Cafe Terrace on the place du Forum. Arles at Night”

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Oil on Canvas 50x60cm.


Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch draughtsman and painter, classified as a Post-Impressionist. His paintings and drawings include some of the world’s best known, most popular and most expensive pieces. Van Gogh spent his early life as an art dealer, teacher and preacher in England, Holland and Belgium. His period as an artist began in 1880 and lasted for a decade, initially with work in sombre colours, until an encounter in Paris with Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism accelerated his artistic development. He produced all of his work, some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings, during the last ten years of his life. Most of his best-known work was produced in the final two years of his life, and in the two months before his death he painted 90 pictures. Following his death, his fame grew slowly, helped by the devoted promotion of it by his widowed sister-in-law.

Largely self-taught, his work was startlingly innovative from the very beginning. Neither his early realist work, though close to the Dutch tradition, nor his later impressionist phase met contemporary expectations. His depictions of everyday life showed a highly personal use of media, marked by a bold and distorted draughtsmanship, and visible dotted or dashed brush marks, sometimes in swirling or wave-like patterns, which are intensely yet subtly coloured. Since his death in 1890, van Gogh has been acknowledged as a pioneer of what came to be known as Expressionism and has had an enormous influence on 20th century art, especially on the Fauves and German Expressionists, and with a line that continues through to the Abstract Expressionism of Willem de Kooning and the British painter Francis Bacon.

Many of Van Gogh’s paintings, such as Starry Night Over the Rhone (1888) have become iconic. Some have established auction record prices, such as his Portrait of Dr. Gachet, sold for US$82.5 million at Christie’s, on May 15, 1990. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the estate of Vincent and Theo van Gogh; it is, by the number of its holdings, the largest Van Gogh collection in the world. Considering the quality of its holdings, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (also in the Netherlands) with some 270 works, the second-largest Van Gogh collection is thought by many to house the more important collection.


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