A revelatory study of the importance of nature in Van Gogh's art throughout his life in Holland and France
The celebrated painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) had a lifelong fascination with the natural world. He spent his youth in rural Holland, and the country's flat landscapes, trees, flowers, and birds would feature in his early art. After he moved to Paris, he encountered new radical thinking about art and humanity's changing relationship with nature. Later, in Provence and Auvers, he discovered unfamiliar terrain, flora, and fauna that further influenced his artistic ideas and subject matter. Van Gogh's images of such diverse environments reflect not only his immediate surroundings but also the artist's evolving engagement with nature and art.
Van Gogh and Nature is an eye-opening and beautifully produced catalogue, which accompanied the best-attended special exhibition in the Clark Art Institute's history. It chronicles the artist's ongoing relationship with nature throughout his entire career. Among the featured works are Van Gogh's drawings and paintings, along with related materials that illuminate his reading, sources, and influences. Vivid color photography and explanatory texts based on new research by the authors clarify a central theme of Van Gogh's oeuvre.
Richard Kendall is curator-at-large at the Clark Art Institute. Sjraar van Heugten is former head of collections of the Van Gogh Museum and an independent art historian. Chris Stolwijk is director of the RKD Research Centre, The Hague, and former curator at the Van Gogh Museum.