Friday, March 8, 2013

Seoul Van Gogh Exhibit

A few Saturdays ago I went to go see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Seoul Arts Center (pictured left). The exhibit featured paintings he created while he lived in Paris, which was only about two years (March 1886-February 1888). 

The time that he was in Paris was when he developed his style. Previously, he had been inspired by Dutch painters and French Realists. In Paris, he was inspired by other Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet. His paintings became much more colorful, and his style was rife with pointillism, which is a painting technique in which small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form images.

This exhibit also included many of his self-portraits. He painted 27 of his estimated 36 self-portraits in Paris, which indicates that as a poor artist he utilized himself instead of a paid model. It was interesting to compare his earlier Paris portraits, which were in much more somber tones like grays and browns, to the later ones, which were much brighter with colors like yellows, reds, greens, and blues.

Below are some of the paintings that I saw, along with details from the Seoul Arts Center website:

Le Pere Tanguy (1887-1888, Paris)
Oil Painting on Canvas, 92.0 x 75.0 cm
Musée Rodin, Paris
Self Portrait (1887, Paris)
Oil Painting on Canvas, 42.2 x 34.4 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Square Saint-Pierre, 1887
Oil Painting on Canvas, 75 x 112.5 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

The exhibit was pretty fantastic. The paintings were absolutely breathtaking, and I'm glad that I was able to see this while it was in Korea. The only downside was that all of the information about the exhibit was written in Korean, but the titles were in English. I'm not really sure why it was set up this way, and I was sad that I wasn't able to read the supporting information for the exhibit.

The museum itself was also beautiful. There were plenty of statues and things to look at outside in the courtyard as we walked from one building to the next. Take a look at the pictures below!

View in the courtyard.

Courtyard fountain.

Courtyard fountain.

Some statues from the corner of the courtyard.

Close-up of said statues.

Mountains in the distance! Even more beautiful in person.

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