The Art of Seeing essay

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Vincent van Gogh self portrait is an oil painting that was painted during the winter of 1887 and 1888 when he was living in Paris in the duration of almost two years. The self portrait was completed in 1888 and it by done by Vincent van Gogh who was born in 1853 and died in 1890. The work was done on oil canvas with the dimensions of 44 by 37.5 cm. The portrait is currently available at Van Gogh Museum or Vincent van Gogh Stichting, Amsterdam. In July 27, 1890, in Auvers-sur-Oise, France – van Gogh is shot himself after suffering from mental illness.

The portrait is a representational art work that represents the portrayed of a person wearing a gray hat. The portrait is abstract and it represents van Gogh application of his fashion of design. We are seeing an end product that was created by use of brushstrokes that were running in various directions resulting in a self portrait of the head with halo like circle around the head. The variation and dynamics coming out in this portrait is as a result of the van Gogh`s personal contribution to the new style of doing the painting work.

The figure can be looked as abstract as it serves as the main focal point of the piece of work done. The background plays a significant role as the colors blend well with similar color scheme. The work is as a result of the casual brush work of the impressionist who can be attributed to have substituted the scientific basis of the normal intuitive color. Van Gogh has employed the systematic method of applying the tiny dots of pure colors to the canvas. The isolation of color bits are meant to blend in the viewer’s eye so that the product produces a coherent image as shown by the portrayed in study here.  We are seeing Van employing his unique backstroking of streaks and dashes to be able to attain the neoimpressionist style.

The primarily used colors in the paintings are the cool blues with various hints of other colors. We also see the use of slightly warm yellow and brown tones on the face of the figure.

Van Gogh`s painting has been done in the Neoimpressionist style and it employees use of backstrokes of paints must have been applied wet to wet. The style generally aims at creating a great deal of texture in the face and also gives the background the importance and overall impact on the portrayed display. The style also results in a sense of mass. The mild strokes create various shapes that create various impressions on the landscape of the face. The use of cool blue colors on the background and the application of the warm yellow with brown tones on the face highlight some sense of light in the colors and this is essential on the face.

The light touches of white on the neck, yellows and browns on the face add the vital sense of light to the portrait. The tilting position of the face gives the portrait the asymmetrical balance.

There exists clear distinction between the light and dark colors and this give the art work balance by providing contrast. It is easier for the viewer and observers to engage with the subject matter due to the effective use of space, the scale of the figure covers most of the surface it is painted on. The general feeling of this painting is sad. The dominant colors are blue and warm yellow plus the shades of brown. The color combination gives a low key color palette despite the existence of lighter colors in the paintings. The tone is overwhelmed by the sense of fear and concern shown on the face of the picture. The subject generally appears to be being tortured something in the mind. The portrait coveys some significant emotional variations in style and color and this would be providing a general sense of the heaviness of the world in general.

There is some sense of mystery in the face of the subject in the figure. The finer visual clues that could guide someone in reading the face are missing and one may be obliged to guess the emotions implied on the face of the man via the color choice and mark making.

Van Gogh`s work can be categorized among the rich and successful cases since the intentions of the behind the work falls both in the expressive and formal theories in artwork. The work by van Gogh`s seems to be saluting the work that has been done by other artists and painters. The work can be looked to be departing from the pre-existed styles and he is out to create an impact and possible maintain control in his work and attaining the objective of the painting. The painting creates greater impact and impression on human conditions. The art is revealing something about human beings that may be hidden and mysterious.  Here the viewers get a chance to experience and challenge the ideas of typical artwork.  The design of the work inspires most viewers to carefully consider and think about the world around them and also their position in the world.

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