Van Gogh’s Creative Genius
by William J. Havlicek & David A. Glen
Complementing William J. Havlicek’s acclaimed work Van Gogh’s Untold Journey, Havlicek and Glen have included new findings and additional imagery in Van Gogh’s Creative Genius—the second volume in our Anthology.
Van Gogh’s Creative Genius offers fresh insights into Van Gogh’s idiosyncrasies, focusing on his unique perspective on life, and his creative eccentricities. Van Gogh’s Creative Genius tells of Vincent’s early tutelage with both amateur and professional painters in the Netherlands. This period led Vincent to accomplish a significant number powerful still lifes, landscape paintings and drawings depicting, for example, the rural lanes, lined with poplars, of picturesque towns and villages such as Nuenen, in Brabant, where Vincent’s father was pastor of the local Protestant community. He also produced numerous studies in pencil or charcoal of peasants at work in the fields, millers and tradesmen, and weavers at their looms. These studies were the precursor to his first important figure painting The Potato Eaters, whose faces were in fact portraits of local folk.
Van Gogh’s Creative Genius tells, too, of Vincent’s epochal venture into the venerable yet bleak region of Drenthe, where he unleashed an important series of immersive, painterly works, thereby establishing his reputation as an accomplished, outdoor oil painter.
The important phases of Vincent’s creative progress throughout his short life are considered, citing the artist’s own letters to both his brother, Theo, and to others. His exposure to academics and the art ateliers of Paris and the Netherlands is discussed, along with his discovery of the Japanese print, contemporary graphic design principles, book illustration, and his evolution as a colorist using flower bouquets and color charts to attune and train his eye.
Van Gogh’s Creative Genius also sheds light on Vincent’s remarkable versatility and adaptability, which were central to his success as a draftsman and painter. He was able to synthesize diverse and seemingly unrelated realms of critical influence into his personal vision. And we observe Vincent’s uncanny ability to blend household kitchen objects and staples into his artistic needs, as how he invented mixed-media formulas, adapted oil-paint technology and techniques, while rediscovering long-forgotten drawing aids and devices.
Van Gogh’s Creative Genius also holds other important revelations such as Vincent’s belief that the literary and visual arts enhanced each other. We learn how passionate a reader he was, and how the great novelists Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo directly influenced him as a painter. His experiences while living in England, his arduous work as a missionary in the Borinage mining region of Belgium, his fraught and often volatile relationship with Paul Gaugin, and the brilliant light of Southern France, all made an indelible impression on Vincent’s art and life.
This beautifully illustrated and well-researched four-volume anthology is a literary tour de force, and is the most comprehensive and definitive story of Vincent van Gogh’s life, and that of the remarkable Johanna who, through her dedicated actions, was to forever change the history of art.
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William J. Havlicek
and David A. Glen
170 mm x 242 mm
softcover with French flaps
244 pages with 80+ color plates
LIMITED-ISSUE, FIRST EDITION
Available as individual volumes
or as a 4-volume anthology.
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