The trouble I had in my head has considerably calmed… I am completely absorbed in that immense plain covered with fields of wheat against the hills boundless as the sea in delicate colors of yellow and green, the pale violet of the plowed and weeded earth checkered at regular intervals with the green of the flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate blue, white, pink, and violet. I am almost too calm, a state that is necessary to paint all that. –Vincent van Gogh, July 1890
Vincent van Gogh relocated to Paris in the spring of 1886. During his two-year stay, Van Gogh discovered the skill of the impressionist artists and a new genre that would follow him; inspiring him to paint from a fresher point of view. Many of his famous works came after his time in Paris including Café Terrace at Night (1888), Starry Night (1889), and The Church at Auvers (1890) all exhibiting a sky of deep blue with strokes of white and yellow.
Now you can experience this crucial moment in art history through four distinct paintings at the Carnegie Museum of Art via its latest exhibition, Visiting Van Gogh: Still Life, Basket of Apples. Opening this weekend (March 14) and staying until July 6, 2015, Visiting Van Gogh focuses on Still Life, Basket of Apples (1887) demonstrates his examination of a new palette towards the end of his Parisian study, offering a rare opportunity to experience these works up-close, and see the technique and color choices first hand. During this time, visitors can partake in a series of activities on color theory including a re-creation of one of Van Gogh’s devices for testing color – a box of yarn in several vivid hues to be paired and twisted together to quickly see the interaction of different colors. Other activities explore the history of color theory by allowing visitors to play with contrasts, colored light, and color wheels from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Comprised of works currently on loan from the the Saint Louis Art Museum, Visiting Van Gogh is a rare peek into a historical perspective on ways artists experimented with color during a pivotal moment in art.
For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, visit them online at www.cmoa.org.
Gallery images from left to right:
Vincent van Gogh; Wheat Fields after the Rain (The Plain of Auvers), 1890; oil on canvas; Acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Paul Signac; Place des Lices, St. Tropez, 1893; oil on canvas; Acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Vincent van Gogh; Still Life, Basket of Apples, 1887; oil on canvas; 18 3/8 x 21 3/4 in. (46.7 x 55.3 cm); Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Sydney M. Shoenberg Sr. 43:1972
Vincent van Gogh; Le Moulin de la Galette, 1886-1887; oil on canvas; Acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh