Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art

Museum Exhibition

On a recent trip to Houston, Texas my step daughter Kim and I had occasion to visit the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. This is something I always do when in Houston as the museum here is world class and they always have great exhibitions. This time was no exception. On exhibit, much to our delight, were the paintings of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).

vincent van gogh1063231402590607221..jpg

Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait

This exhibit highlights the artist’s early years in the Netherlands; his luminous period in Paris; his search for light and color in the South of France; and his exploration of nature as a source of enduring inspiration in Saint-Rémy and Auvers.

windmills by vincent van gogh8948790566959620560..jpg

Street Scene in Montmartre Le Mpulin a Poivre, Feb.-March 1887

The exhibition showcases portraits, landscapes, and still lifes drawn primarily from the collections of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands.

in the cafe by vincent van gogh5096603125231083774..jpg

In the Cafe: Agostina Segatori in Le Tambourin, January-March 1887

basket of lemons and bottle  vincent van gogh3337883266501413925..jpg

Basket of Lemons and Bottle, May 1888

The color yellow held a particular fascination for Vincent van Gogh. Experiencing the intense sunlight of the South he once wrote his brother Theo, in Paris, “Sunshine, a light which, for want of a better word I can only call yellow – pale sulfur yellow, pale lemon, gold.”

20190408_2255318381990767779926618.jpg

Portrait of a Prostitute, December 1885

Van Gogh, who lived with a former prostitute for years in the Hague, was particularly sympathetic to these women cast out by society.

20190407_2317182310327502784376358.jpg

The Langlois Bridge at Arles, 1888

20190407_232026535279423080811825.jpg

Still Life with a Plate of Onions, January 1889

This picture was painted the day after Van Gogh was released from the hospital where he was being treated  for the self inflicted injury to his ear. The book in the painting is a handbook of homeopathic medicine and the envelope belongs to a letter he had received from  from his bother Theo.

20190417_0718573361293919708900404.jpg

Tarascon Stagecoach (La Diligence de Tarascon), October 1888

20190517_0810328602098506600017399.jpg

The Sheaf Binder (after Millet), September 1889

20190517_081347522295016535960162.jpg

Peasant Woman Binding Sheaves (after Millet), September 1889

20190518_0837026821223016373155743.jpg

The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix), May 1890

dscn09694583927250191742.jpg

Portrait of a Peasant Woman in a Straw Hat, June 1890

20190408_2249024744928784744617100.jpg

Women Crossing the Fields, 1890

Van Gogh had seen these women walking and described them in a letter to his brother Theo just a month before he died. It was in one of these Auvers wheat fields that he shot himself with a revolver on July 27, 1890.

20190518_0842404884366608971820314.jpg

Farmhouse with Two Figures, 1890

20190519_0914094758951936766115417.jpg

Irises, May 1980

20190408_224534-13237111709082994879.jpg

A Pair of Leather Clogs, autumn 1889

20190520_072239-13959632112078906514.jpg

Tree Trunks with Ivy, July 1889

Feeling to weak to live Van Gogh checked himself into The Saint-Paul-de-Mausole mental hospital at St. Remy. in May 1889. He was allowed to paint out of doors, but was confined to the garden of the hospital where he painted several versions of this sous-bois of tree trunks and undergrowth.

20190408_224346-16568697279590641040.jpg

The Garden of the Asylum at Saint-Remy, May 1889

There is little doubt that Vincent was a talented genius and a tortured soul. These  magnificent master works are on display for all to see at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts through June 27.

 

Blue-Wig

20190414_1313053507359242682288515.jpg

 “Get up Angel. You look like a Pekingese.”

 

20190414_1506213284849605965542424.jpg

“Let’s get out of this rotten little town.”

20190414_1401438344525705772383253.jpg

This is the way love feels….

20190424_2136243268746784111459794.jpg

 On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double scotches. They didn’t do me any good. All they did was make me think of Blue-Wig, and I never saw her again.

Caught Out in the Rain

So I went to the bus station to pick up my young friend Victoria who was travelling from Nashville back to Louisville. It was about  8:00  in the evening on a cool spring night. It wasn’t quite dark yet.

Since we were downtown we thought it would be a good idea to have drinks at the 21C Hotel bar.

portrait of a lady2498426612781474166..jpg

I drove the six blocks or so to the the hotel and parked out on the street. 21C was a favorite of ours. We really weren’t dressed for the place but in Louisville that didn’t really matter.

We entered through the restaurant and made our way to the bar and sat on a couch on the rear wall.

20190202_1805015729497439377224422.jpg

“Just like being in our own living room,” I remarked.

“Yeah, but better because of the people watching,” she said.

received_5737793596477233698016965220565794.jpeg

I ordered a Jack and soda and she had a Rum Coco. Something she had started drinking since she came back from Cuba a couple of months ago.

We had our drinks and some nice conversation about her latest trip to Missouri. She went there with her mother and grandmother to visit her uncle who was doing eleven years in the federal penitentiary in Springfield.

received_5737799663143293083436648934591692.jpeg

We looked the menu over but we didn’t see anything we wanted to eat so we decide  to go the the Tavern in old Louisville to round out the night and get a late night snack.

2019-04-26_09-09-566837030743469247828.jpg

We finished our drinks and walked out through the bar to the restaurant exit out onto  the street. To our surprise it had started raining. It was really coming down and it was a cold rain. We ran the two blocks to car and got soaked. Once we were safely ensconced inside I was huffing and puffing from the exertion.

Victoria ventured, “I’ve never seen you run before.” And she let out a little laugh. 

“Well it is is pretty unusual,” I said. “It doesn’t happen very often.” And I laughed too.

I caught my breath and drove to the Tavern where we had more drinks and shared an order of wings.

On the way there I was put in mind of a song I like by Beth Hart: Caught Out in the Rain.

Here it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Tarascon Stagecoach

Tarascon Stagecoach (La Diligence de Tarascon)

20190417_0718571081994049186993525.jpg

 

Vincent van Gogh, Dutch. 1853-1888

October 1888. Oil on Canvas.  On long-term loan from The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, to the Princeton University Art Museum. Currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston Texas.

In a letter to Theo on October 13, 1888, Vincent refers to one of his favorite books, Tartarin de Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet, with “the old Tarascon diligence….Well, I’ve just painted that red and green carriage in the yard of the inn.” The stagecoach stopped at Arles, midway along its route from Nimes.

Here is a life size sculpture reproduction in the yard at the Grounds for Sculpture at Hamilton New Jersey.

dscn44757073062094412947489.jpg

Taracson Stagecoach – Hamiton New Jersey

dscn44747709485515105320365.jpg

SERVICE DE TARASCON

 

 

 

 

PICASSO

Genius Loves Company

sam_12839156379270173077189.jpg

Picasso Exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Picasso Mania

img_20180616_082411_2788236782592664842559.jpg

The Studio, Currently on display at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky

chicago nikon 2016 (68 of 109)2359876121726851057..jpg

Untitled Picasso Sculpture in Daley Plaza in Chicago

chicago nikon 2016 (70 of 109)6015039744838642560..jpg

chicago nikon 2016 (73 of 109)-14930531272199454157..jpg

chicago nikon 2016 (74 of 109)7315901352432856800..jpg

36230498010_3c4c866617_o

Woman, Chicago Art Institute

Photo:  Benn Bell  Sculpture:  Picasso  Model: Ginger Bell

All Photos by Benn Bell

The Gates of Hell

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

2930620051_ab0539eeda_o

Th Gates of Hell, Auguste Rodin

The Gates of hell is a sculpture by Auguste Rodin that depicts a scene from Dante’s The Divine Comedy. There were three bronze casts made; they reside in The Musee Rodin in Paris, The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, and the National Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park, Tokyo.

This photo was taken in Philadelphia.

INTO THE UNDERGROWTH

 

30424491653_07f0fc71e4_o.jpg

I recently attended an exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum entitled Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. Turns out there is a whole sub-genre of painting called sous-bois, which means undergrowth, that explores the significance of the interior of the forest. Hmmm. I have been exploring the interior of the forest for years now. Here is my latest entry into this genre.