Archive for category Subject: Van Gogh

Hockney/Van Gogh – the joy of nature

Everybody wants a Hockney, don’t they? This book accompanies an exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and is, it should be said, an excellent alternative for those who can’t make it to the show itself. The number and quality of the illustrations, mostly Hockneys, is substantial and the reproduction well up to the standard you would expect from such an august institution. There is also a useful introductory essay that sets the two artists’ visions in context.

Given all the above, and especially the predomination of work by Hockney, the question has to be asked: would you want it? There are plenty of excellent Hockney collections about, so does the addition of a few Van Goghs (he also being hardly thin on the publication ground) and a rationalisation of putting together two artists who, arguably, share little beyond a fascination with nature, bring anything to the party?

I’m not honestly sure I’d want to part with just shy of twenty-five quid unless it was as a souvenir of a visit, which rather flies in the face of what I said earlier about in being a good substitute for such. For all that, it’s well presented and nicely done and, you might think, worth it for that alone.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

Leave a comment

In 50 Works – Van Gogh/Matisse || John Cauman

There’s no shortage of books on the Old Masters, from scholarly interpretations to coffee-table collections of works.

Think of these, therefore, as manageable and affordable primers that contain enough biographical and analytical information to satisfy without overwhelming and which ultimately stand or fall on the curatorial ability of the author – to put it simply, how good is he at making a truly representative selection of the artist’s work?

There’s no definite answer to that question, as long as styles and chronology are respected (it’s worth noting that the illustrations appear in date order and, indeed, are dated). Your own favourites may be omitted, potentially leaving you shouting at the page. On the other hand, sometimes someone else’s view can lend perspective to your own – or maybe you just want the heavy lifting done for you.

However, it does work and, while not quite at pocket-money prices, these are genuinely good value and sit nicely in what is – let’s not be shy about this – a crowded market.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

Leave a comment

Van Gogh in Acrylics (Ready to Paint) || Michael Sanders

This is the second in the Ready to Paint The Masters series that offers you the chance to emulate the greats in a medium that wasn’t available to them. I have to admit that I’m stumped as to why you would want to and there’s no help in the introduction here. Michael is right when he says that copying other work is/was the traditional way to learn and it’s certainly a handy way of measuring your progress, but I’m not sure how much satisfaction it will give you unless you’re a fan of rote learning and prepared for quite a lot of hard slog before you get to express your own creativity.

However, if your boat needs floating and you think a few Van Goghs will get it off the slipway, this is the book for you.

Leave a comment

  • Archives

  • Categories