Friday, August 24, 2007

Vincent van Gogh and Kirk Douglas

When I look at the paintings of Vincent 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 that 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 gives his time of birth as 11am.
I wonder whether someone in 1853 would have time of birth recorded. He was the son of a pastor who would be unlikely to have any interest in astrology, but perhaps Van Gogh himself had made enquiries of his mother and mentioned the fact in correspondence. We can't be sure.

The main thrust of his chart comes from Aries, Taurus and Sagittarius. All energetic, dynamic signs, with a touch of aggression in the case of Aries and Taurus. Here, then, is the energy which can be felt from his paintings. The quote above mentions his lack of self confidence which gives weight to the 11am time of birth - Cancer ascendant can link to lack of confidence - I know this from experience.

The best known biographical movie about Van Gogh was "Lust for Life", in which Kirk Douglas played the lead. I've looked at Kirk Douglas's natal chart and noted 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 almost identical degrees of Fire signs in both cases. Jupiter and Sagittarius connect very well to the exaggeration of Expressionist painting ! "Curiouser and couriouser!"

"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)

Top: "The Starry Night". Middle: "Cafe Terrace at Night". Bottom:"Irises"


elsa said...

Saw this movie for the first time tonight, Twilight and it prompted a search. Found you and will link this on the Dispatch in the morning. :)

Twilight said...

That's kind of you Elsa - thank you! I'll keep my today's post for later.

When I noticed the link on your widget I thought someone else must have been using the same nick-name as me! Then I realised you must have found it and posted it, probaby because Kirk Douglas had died - glad to see he's still going strong aged 92.

It was a good movie, I thought.

I also saw another (on DVD) about a young American artist who turned out to be Van Gogh's reincarnation - a romantic fairy tale really, but sweet. It's called "Starry Night"