Are There Visions and Ghosts in Van Gogh Paintings?

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“There are no ghosts in the paintings of Van Gogh, no visions, no hallucinations. This is the torrid truth of the sun at two o’clock in the afternoon.” This quote that Antonin Artraud, stated from, Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society, explains the way in which Van Gogh approached his artwork. He believed in the dry truth and as a result his work was remarkably straightforward in the messages that he portrayed. While visiting Paris, France this past April, I was fortunate enough to have visited Musée d’Orsay, a museum that contains mostly French art from 1848-1914 and houses a large collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces and 19th century works from the Louvre [The Oxford Companion to Western Art]. I was also…show more content…
In one of Van Gogh’s letters about his life or death decision he wrote, “Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star” [Stokstad]. In the painting, the cypress tree is a clear symbol of his letter, meaning both death and eternal life, and is placed between the two split levels of land and heaven which points up to heaven. It is clearly evident that it represents that contrast between life and death. The brightest star in this painting is actually Venus, which symbolizes love. Along with his contemplation of life or death, this symbol represents his, “hope of gaining in death the love that had eluded him in life” [Stokstad]. This piece was made with vivid colors, much line work, and overall conveys a form of expression through movement, mood, tone, and emotion. When I look at this piece I feel for Van Gogh in the way the setting is, the dim night sky might reflect his seething for recovery. The movement of the clouds and stars perhaps resemble the way he wants his recovery to steadily progress. Another one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings called, Wheat Field with Crows, was in, The Man Suicided by Society exhibit, and was the very last painting before Van Gogh’s suicide. As a result, it left a very prominent significance and can be read almost as a suicide notice. Executed in July of 1980, it was completed in Van Gogh’s last few weeks of

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