The copy turns original: Vincent van Gogh and a new approach to traditional art practice

Front Cover
John Benjamins, 1996 - Pictures - 233 pages
At St.-Remy, in 1889-90, without his usual contacts and confined to a hospital, van Gogh produced a series of painted copies of work by other artists. We usually attribute these to therapy for his isolation and pass over them in considering his " uvre." Homburg's study, however, concentrates on this category of paintings in which the artist intentionally imitates an existing composition and reproduces it using his personal form of pictorial language, and makes claims that such work has true significance for both the artist and the audience.Van Gogh s copies form the core of this study. They contribute significantly to the understanding of the copy at the end of the last century, while at the same time providing fascinating insights into the work and thought of van Gogh, in particular. Their reception among contemporaries provides important information about the thinking of the period.Finally van Gogh s work is placed in a context of copies by his contemporaries. His activity in this area was no isolated incident, but was an influential factor in a development that began at the end of the 19th century and continued well into the present one.

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The copy in historical perspective
Forms of copying

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About the author (1996)

Cornelia Homburg is Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Modern Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

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