Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Was Vincent van Gogh Thinking When He Painted Sunset at Montmajour

            Why do you think Vincent van Gogh painted this landscape? Was it just because he thought it would look pretty, or is there a deeper meaning? At the time, the artist was living in Arles, France, to seek refuge from his drinking and smoker’s cough. The painting depicts a landscape with the ruins of Montmajour Abbey in the background. When one thinks of ruins, we think destruction or sadness. Knowing this, it could clue us in on how he felt. Maybe, he was feeling that same sadness, and wanted to document it, so that others would understand. Or, perhaps he just thought it would be an interesting painting that would sell quickly.          
     In research I also found, it talked about how, at first, he didn’t like the town of Arles, and how it seemed dirty, exotic, and like a totally foreign country. As compared to many of his other paintings, the paintings that he created in Arles had much or yellow tones in them, which often symbolizes happiness. However, this painting shows very little yellow, and mainly showcases green and blue.  Another thing I noticed from the other paintings from Arles was that many of the rooms were almost empty of furniture less, which could tell us how he felt empty. All of these factors could give us hints as to his original intention when painting Sunset at Montmajour. 

Link to research I used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh#Paris_.281886.E2.80.931888.29http://www.vangoghgallery.com/

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