Friday, March 30, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ VINCENT

Vincent van Gogh was born this day, 30 March, in 1853.

When I look at paintings by van Gogh the first thing I feel is energy, both from the colours he used and from his style of brush stroke. This is not one of your namby-pamby, delicate painters. He doesn't always paint in purely representative fashion, yet we know exactly what it is he is portraying, we don't need to interpret. The style of his later paintings (The Starry Night, as below, for example) came to be known as Expressionism: using exaggeration and distortion for emotional effect. What we get also, from van Gogh, is an almost throbbing energy.

"Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty."
Astrotheme and Astrodatabank both give his time of birth
as 11 AM (Astrodatabank gives the time an AA rating, so it must be reliable).

The energetic thrust of his chart comes from Aries, Taurus and Sagittarius. All dynamic signs, Aries with a touch of aggression, Taurus adding a stubborn, if artistic side. Moon and Jupiter in Sagittarius shed a feeling of exaggeration overall. Here is the pulsing energy which can be felt from his paintings. There's significant input, too, from sensitive, emotional and intuitive Pisces and Cancer, endowing this artist with two distinct faces. A difficult combination to harness I would imagine! The quote above mentions his lack of self confidence, giving weight to the 11 AM time of birth - a sensitive Cancer ascendant can link to lack of confidence - I know this from bitter experience.

Van Gogh had no planets in Air signs to help lighten the hard-to-handle combinations in his nativity and nature.

A well-known biographical movie on van Gogh, Lust for Life, had Kirk Douglas in the leading role. Douglas's natal chart contains a couple of strange coincidences
Douglas - natal Mercury at 25 Sagittarius
Van Gogh - natal Jupiter 24 Sagittarius.

Douglas - natal Jupiter 25 Aries
Van Gogh - natal Mercury 25 Aries.

Mercury and Jupiter in trine, in similar degrees of Fire signs in both cases. Jupiter and Sagittarius connect very well to the exaggeration of Expressionist painting !

Casting the lead role of Van Gogh was easy. Kirk Douglas, who by then has become Minnelli's favorite Hollywood actor, was ideal to play Van Gogh in both physique and temperament. As Minnelli recalls, "Once we got the green light to proceed with the picture, there was no question if Kirk would play Van Gogh. No other actor was even considered for the part." (SEE HERE)

The Starry Night

The Sower

Country Road in Provence by Night

Evening Landscape

Café Terrace at Night


And 2 of Van Gogh's many lovely sketches:


James Higham said...

Wow, now that was one heck of a read.

Anonymous said...

GP: One of your most intuitive posts, T!

Is it the same AS or your Moon placement (?). I totally join James Higham in complimenting you.

I do think that Vincent is one of the world's greatest painters, his speed and intensity of creation only equaled by Picasso.

But he was a very tragic figure - and looking at most of his paintings, knowing about his personal life, leaves me never totally happy. What he tried to transform there into art did not yield to his fiery intentions. I even suspect that he knew that and therefore tried again and again. Tragically to the great satisfaction of his brother, an art merchant in Paris, supplying booze (Absinthe).

One of the more happy episodes for Vincent were his encounters with his friend Gaugin. But then Gaugin definitely emigrated to Tahiti, tragic departure for Vincent (and a happy arrivel for those innocent girls in the Pacific)...

Twilight said...

James Higham :-) I'm pleased it was of interest.

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~
Thank you kindly GP! His ascendant, if times of birth (mine and his), are nearly accurate is within a few degrees of my own ascendant in Cancer; and his Mercury is one degree from my natal Moon. His Moon is a degree away from my Venus.

I hadn't noticed any of that until you mentioned it. Hmmmm.
I shall not be cutting off my ear any time soon though. ;-)

I agree - his life was filled with pain and tragedy. It was good that he had an outlet for his anguish through art.

PS: The gals in that Pacific island may or may not have considered Gaugin's arrival of benefit - but they played along, by all accounts. ;-)

Vanilla Rose said...

Van Gogh is very popular with aspiring artists who suffer from mental health problems.

Wisewebwoman said...

I love this man and his expressionism!

As to Gaugin, those island females would tell a different tail of their exploitation.

Lovely linkage with Kirk, btw, I never felt he was right for the part though.


JD said...

First time I saw this picture in Paris I it's impossible to describe the effect. Stunning is the usual cliche but that is exactly what it was- the orange of the roof (and it was more orange than red) contrasted with the dark blue made the whole thing vibrate-

His paintings are like that. It is almost as if he was painting the molecular vibration within everything!

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~ I didn't know that, but am not surprised.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Me too! Re Kirk Douglas, perhaps it's the fact that he's played so many different parts over the years, this could get in the way of a "clean" image of him as van Gogh. I'm not sure who else could have taken the part and done it justice though.

Twilight said...

JD ~ Thanks for the link to The Church at Auvers. I can well understand how you felt. I love your description "painting the molecular vibration within everything" - that's exactly right!

I used to have a print of one of his quieter pieces in my bedroom, back in Leeds, long ago. It was just a fruit tree in bloom - The Peach Tree, I think, but can't find it under that title. Internet acting up today though - or maybe it was some other fruit tree.

JD said...

I used that analogy because sometimes I too 'see' things in that way -

...probably why I love his paintings :)

Twilight said...

JD ~~~ I missed that post of yours JD (it was published while we were away last weekend). Thank you for drawing my attention to it. I found it fascinating to read but realise that the experiences must be frightening as well as a great source of curisoity to you (as you say, from the inside).

I'm glad to read that you seem to be in good medical hands.

I understand more clearly now your reasons for describing van Gogh's paintings in the terms you did.

Perhaps he suffered similar unexpected bouts of unusually bright clarity, maybe for different physical reasons but with similar manifestation.

Anonymous said...

GP: I mis-spelled Gauguin (which you certainly noticed) but very kindly repeated in your reply, T. Guess not to offend me. Will try to be more precise in future. My excuse being that non working computers can drive one mad. I am now on Mac. It`s better indeed.

Twilight said...

Anon/Gian Paul ~~ My excuse is that I didn't even think about the spelling, but was concentrating on what to respond. ;-)