Vincent Van Gogh - Legacy - Influence

Influence

In his final letter to Theo, Vincent admitted that as he did not have any children, he viewed his paintings as his progeny. Reflecting on this, the historian Simon Schama concluded that he "did have a child of course, Expressionism, and many, many heirs." Schama mentioned a wide number of artists who have adapted elements of van Gogh's style, including Willem de Kooning, Howard Hodgkin and Jackson Pollock. The Fauves extended both his use of color and freedom in application, as did German Expressionists of the Die Brücke group, and as other early modernists. Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s is seen as in part inspired from van Gogh's broad, gestural brush strokes. In the words of art critic Sue Hubbard: "At the beginning of the twentieth century Van Gogh gave the Expressionists a new painterly language that enabled them to go beyond surface appearance and penetrate deeper essential truths. It is no coincidence that at this very moment Freud was also mining the depths of that essentially modern domain—the subconscious. This beautiful and intelligent exhibition places Van Gogh where he firmly belongs; as the trailblazer of modern art."

In 1957, Francis Bacon (1909–1992) based a series of paintings on reproductions of van Gogh's The Painter on the Road to Tarascon, the original of which was destroyed during World War II. Bacon was inspired by not only an image he described as "haunting", but also van Gogh himself, whom Bacon regarded as an alienated outsider, a position which resonated with Bacon. The Irish artist further identified with van Gogh's theories of art and quoted lines written in a letter to Theo, "eal painters do not paint things as they are...They paint them as they themselves feel them to be". An exhibition devoted to Vincent van Gogh's letters took place in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from October 2009 to January 2010 and then moved to the Royal Academy in London from late January to April.

Read more about this topic:  Vincent Van Gogh, Legacy

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