Vincent van Gogh: letters, art, and context > Van Gogh’s artistry

Letter with sketch of 'The potato eaters'

If we compare the drawings from Van Gogh’s early period to his later work, we can see what tremendous progress he made. “I keep on making what I can’t do yet in order to learn to be able to do it,” he wrote in 1885. [letter 528] For several months, Van Gogh received instruction from his cousin by marriage, the painter Anton Mauve, and at the art academies in Brussels and Antwerp. But it was mainly due to his perseverance and his critical attitude towards his own work that he was able to develop into an original artist. Vincent had an exceptional feeling for powerful colour effects and simple, compelling compositions.

The potato eaters | Self-portrait as an artist | The Langlois bridge | The yellow house | The bedroom | The sower | Sunflowers | Almond blossom | Irises | Wheatfield with crows

Letter sketches
Van Gogh’s own work | Sketches from the studio

The practice of painting
Techniques | Use of colour | Drawing and painting supplies | Working from models | Selling his work

Inspirations and influences
Farm life | Literature | Japanese prints | Mauve | Gauguin | Delacroix | Millet | Rembrandt | Impressionism

Examples from this collection Vincent van Gogh: letters, art, and context

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