Ross Daniel Dance Blog
On Thursday this week I was able to visit the Musee d'Orsay. This particular museum houses many works from artistes that have been deemed as impressionist such as Monet, Manet, and Degas, it also showcases works from post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh. I had the opportunity to do research on Van Gogh as a part of my artist research project earlier in the week and felt connected to Van Gogh’s work when I saw the collection in the d’Orsay. Van Gogh was known for his excellent artwork and also his eccentric personality, and seeing these paintings in person truly expressed his lineage and influences.
In this assignment we were asked to observe two painting and compare them in an open discussion, so naturally I chose two paintings by Van Gogh, L’Arlésienne and La méridienne dit aussi La sieste. These two paintings where created at two different times in Van Gogh’s life only a year apart; La Sieste in 1889 and L’Arlésienne in 1888. The two works have similar use of color, still life, and portrait which where qualities that where very popular at the time. There is a key difference in the composition of the paintings where La Sieste was a re-painted adaptation of a sketched work by Millet and L’Arlésienne is an orinial work based off of a friend of Van Gogh named Mme Ginoux.
La Sieste was painted during a time when Van Gogh was staying in a mental hospital and had more limited resources but would still mail his painting to his brother Theo. The painting is an excilent use of contracting colors orange and blue and has a vibrant stroke texture that gives it a surreal expression of what Van Gogh experienced when seeing the work by Millet. As for L’Arlésienne it shows similar use of color, but the full perspective is clearly on portrait. The painting is stunning and a well represented image of Mme Ginoux as she was a woman that Van Gogh had grown fond of.
Both of these paintings showcase two separate talents Van Gogh had in his career, but also highlight his creativity and use of color and perspective. It was a great experience to see his work so closely. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most referenced artists in history so to be in a room surrounded by his generous and passion was personal best of this experience in Paris.