Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art

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Macmillan, Jul 17, 2004 - Art - 494 pages
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A leading scholar offers fresh insight into one of the key moments in modern art history

During the fall of 1888, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin lived and worked together in Provence. There in a yellow house at Arles, they changed the course of modern art. The relationship between the two painters came at a critical point in each of their careers, and began as a plan for a new community of artist-brothers, who would flourish in a harmonious condition of mutual support. While the two painters never achieved the goal of brotherly harmony, they nonetheless found their creativity spurred by association.

Until now, the Arles period has been interpreted in the light of the temperamental differences between the artists, culminating in the famous incident in which Van Gogh cut off part of his left ear lobe to spite Gauguin. In the shadow of the drama, their larger intellectual and theoretical debates at Arles have been neglected. Debora Silverman demonstrates here for the first time the great significance of their religious backgrounds and conflicts, with important new research on Van Gogh and Gauguin's respective Protestant and Catholic origins and formations, and fresh readings of the major pictures of the period. Both artists emerge in startling new ways, as the paintings they produced at Arles are reevaluated in the light of their divergent attempts to create a new sacred art.
 

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VAN GOGH AND GAUGUIN: The Search for Sacred Art

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A reconsideration of religious elements in the work of van Gogh and Gauguin, who lived together in the French provincial town of Arles for a brief but productive period in both their careers ... Read full review

Van Gogh and Gauguin: the search for sacred art

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The stormy relationship of Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh during their tenure in Arles has enjoyed a long history of speculation. The relationship's failure and van Gogh's infamous self-mutilation ... Read full review

Contents

SELFPORTRAITS
19
VAN GOGHS SOWER
49
GAUGUINS VISION AFTER THE SERMON
91
Catholic Idealism and Dutch Reformed Realism
119
ECONOMICS
183
THE ALYSCAMPS PAINTINGS
197
GRAPE HARVESTS
223
REMEMBERED GARDENS
249
Theologies of Art After Aries
265
GAUGUINS LAST TESTAMENT
373
VAN GOGHS METIER
392
Biographical Outline of the Two Artists
425
Acknowledgments
483
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About the author (2004)

Debora Silverman holds the Presidential Chair in Modern European History, Art, and Culture at UCLA. She is the author of Selling Culture and Art Nouveau in Fin-de-Siecle France.

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