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For Those Who Don’t Know

Julian Bell: Van Gogh’s Letters, 5 November 2009

Vincent vanGoghThe Letters 
edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker, translated by Michael Hoyle et al.
Thames and Hudson, 2180 pp., £395, October 2009, 978 0 500 23865 3
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... gets savaged and shredded in the course of all that follows. Repeatedly, the words and deeds of Vincent vanGogh stab at the framework beneath. With a peculiar and terrible force, his letters pit the reader against what’s hard in art and what’s cold in money, lashing out in search of something that, for want of a ...

Selfie with ‘Sunflowers’

Julian Barnes, 30 July 2015

Ever Yours: The Essential Letters 
by Vincent vanGogh, edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker.
Yale, 777 pp., £30, December 2014, 978 0 300 20947 1
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Van GoghA Power Seething 
by Julian Bell.
Amazon, 171 pp., £6.99, January 2015, 978 1 4778 0129 1
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... Corot’). But it also goes beyond that – beyond admiration, beyond style, homage, imitation. Van Gogh, even as he was violently wrenching himself towards a form of painting which still startles us today, was filling his letters and his mind with thoughts of Corot (he also greatly valued Chardin). It was a tribute by the living artist to his ...
... strong Ray. He nodded. What makes you so strong. He thought about it. Lust he said. You mean like Vincent VanGogh. Lust for life. No he said. Like a bee. Pollen she said. He laughed. Pollen keeps callin old Ray. They rolled along. Dawn was pushing the night sky up like a Venetian blind and blue ran straight into the ...

At Tate Britain

Tom Crewe: Burne-Jones, 24 January 2019

... There are​ self-trained artists; then there are self-willed ones. Edward Burne-Jones, like Vincent VanGogh, was one of the latter. That’s to say, he decided, in 1855, to be an artist – he was studying for a theology degree at Oxford at the time – without knowing whether he was capable of being one, perhaps even without considering absence of talent a potential obstacle ...

If Only Analogues...

Ange Mlinko: Ginsberg Goes to India, 20 November 2008

A Blue Hand: The Beats in India 
by Deborah Baker.
Penguin US, 256 pp., £25.95, April 2008, 978 1 59420 158 5
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... rhyme and, while they were at it, conventional morality … They studied the lives of artists like Vincent vanGogh and Gauguin for guidance and did their best to imitate them.’ They were, then, ripe for an encounter with the famous Beat poets of America. Ginsberg had the pleasure of introducing them to Williams even ...

At Tate Britain

Julian Bell: Van Gogh, 1 August 2019

... Miners in the Snow​ (1880) was Vincent vanGogh’s first pictorial declaration of intent. Unable to hold down work in the family picture trade or as a preacher, he was persuaded by his brother Theo to turn his energies to drawing, and after some copying exercises he came up with this sheet ...

Slashed, Red and Dead

Michael Hofmann: Rilke, To Me, 21 January 2021

... He haunts the museum, takes refuge in the book he has brought with him from Munich, The Letters of Vincent VanGogh. In his dedication to the first volume of New Poems, he writes of ‘what being completely alone, being unobserved, unseen, invisible means to me. For three days in Naples I went about with it as with a ...

At the Ashmolean

Julian Bell: ‘Cézanne and the Modern’, 3 April 2014

... Céret’ (1921-22) Soutine, ‘Portrait of a Woman’ (1929) Soutine, ‘Hanging Turkey’ (1925) Van Gogh, ‘Tarascon Stagecoach’ (1888)PreviousNext On a tabletop shared by grapes, apples and a wine bottle, a shapely carafe gives up the ghost in a shudder of halations. The grapes likewise dematerialise, floating free of the sheet like the ‘grin ...

At Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Nicholas Penny: Flandrin’s Murals, 10 September 2020

... achievements is not difficult since the greatest of these murals are in Parisian churches.Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, is a five-minute walk from the Gare du Nord (also by Hittorff). It was consecrated in 1844 and, because Hittorff was an authority on the use of colour in ancient temples, was intended to have a polychrome ...

At the National Gallery

Julian Bell: Delacroix, 17 March 2016

... reasons here to exhibit Renoir canvases on the one hand, Redon pastels on the other.Gauguin and Van Gogh have roles to play too, but Riopelle and his fellow curator Patrick Noon also chase some distractingly tenuous connections. Courbet, Monet and Signac don’t sit well with an artistic forebear who kept issues of observable fact so low on his ...

Warhol’s Respectability

Nicholas Penny, 19 March 1987

The Revenge of the Philistines 
by Hilton Kramer.
Secker, 445 pp., £12.50, July 1986, 0 436 23687 7
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Gilbert and George 
by Carter Ratcliff.
Thames and Hudson, 271 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 500 27443 6
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British Art in the 20th Century 
edited by Susan Compton.
Prestel-Verlag (Munich), 460 pp., £16.90, January 1987, 3 7913 0798 3
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... for churches and government buildings) should be considered as similar to Cézanne and Van Gogh. In any case, one wonders against what orthodoxy it is that Julian Schnabel is battling. According to Kramer, it is a modernist orthodoxy – doctrinaire minimalism. Schnabel ‘violates’, apparently, ‘the integrity of the surface’. This seems ...

Not a great decade to be Jewish

Will Self, 11 February 1993

Complete Prose 
by Woody Allen.
Picador, 473 pp., £14.99, November 1992, 0 330 32820 4
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... had been dentists’, Allen produces a hilarious pastiche of the American bio-pics of Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. Seurat is a hygienist who cleans his patients’ teeth one at a time, in order to build up ‘a full fresh mouth’. Toulouse-Lautrec is too proud to work on a stool and so, fumbling away, manages to ‘cap Mrs ...

Browning and Modernism

Donald Davie, 10 October 1991

The Poems of Browning. Vol. I: 1826-1840 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin.
Longman, 797 pp., £60, April 1991, 0 582 48100 7
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The Poems of Browning. Vol. II: 1841-1846 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin .
Longman, 581 pp., £50, April 1991, 9780582063990
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... pressed on him hardly at all. In his youth he had the courage of his unconcern: Nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the north-west died away; Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay; Bluish mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay; In the dimmest north-east distance, dawned Gibraltar grand and gray; ‘Here and here did England help ...

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