van Gogh’s Drawings

The drawings that are part of Vincent’s letters to Theo are interesting and all his talk of etchings and drawings by other artists, as well as his own, led me to the catalogue by the Metropolitan Museum “Vincent van Gogh – The Drawings”.  (The catalogue is from a 2005 exhibit.) It’s too bad I missed this exhibit but maybe some day I’ll see his drawings in person. Years ago I saw a number of his paintings in Boston and was completely awestruck. I think the drawings would have the same effect.

Here is a synopsis of the exhibit/catalogue by Eric Gelber on Art Critical:

http://www.artcritical.com/2003/11/01/vincent-van-gogh-the-drawings/

However, I’d like to change his last line to “take up our reed pens”. The reed pen was the instrument used for the most vibrant of van Gogh’s drawings.

Many of Vincent’s drawings can be seen online here:

http://www.vangoghgallery.com/catalog/Drawing/

It is said that his best drawings, the drawings considered his most important, were the ones that were done  during July and August 1888 in Arles. (also, notice – done with the reed pen.)

van Gogh drawing - Sower-with-Setting-Sun
van Gogh drawing – Sower-with-Setting-Sun
Reed Pen, quill and ink over graphite  on wove paper – 9 5/8″ x 12 5/8″

from Vincent’s letter to Theo:

“Now the Harvest, the Garden, the Sower, and the two marines are sketches after painted studies. I think all these ideas are good, but the painted studies lack clearness of touch. That is another reason why I felt it necessary to draw them.”

Usually artists draw as a preliminary step to a painting – working out the kinks. But, many times Vincent would draw after a painting to study it further or to show his brother Theo what he was working on.

Next: Trying out the Reed Pen

 

 

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