Van Gogh's Progress: Utopia, Modernity, and Late-nineteenth-century Art
In Carol Zemel's insightful reinterpretation of Van Gogh's work and career, the artist is seen as a determined modern professional instead of the tortured romantic hero that legend has given us. Zemel's fresh approach emphasizes the utopian idealism that infused both Van Gogh's life and his pictures. She looks at the artist's career from 1882 to 1890 through six utopian projects or professional schemes, each embodying a specific societal crisis for Van Gogh's generation: women and sexuality, the rural artisan, republican citizenry, professional identity, the burgeoning art market, and the construction of a modern rural ideal. Zemel reveals how each endeavor, as Van Gogh treated it, offered a vision of utopian possibility. She also analyzes broader historical problems encountered by all avant-garde artists of the late nineteenth century.
Zemel carefully examines Van Gogh's letters and work and also draws from municipal archives, local histories, nineteenth-century literature, and contemporaneous criticism. Her handsomely illustrated book, essential reading for art historians and scholars of late-nineteenth-century history and French studies, will also captivate anyone interested in Vincent van Gogh.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.