Free Wrd 104 X Essay One: Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait Essay Sample
It is an interesting thing to learn about some of the outstanding self portraits that different artists have done. Have you ever imagined that if you are an artist you can do a self portrait that could narrate about you several years in the future? The obvious imagination is that artists should just do portraits for other people who are considered famous within the society. However, when I visited the Art Institute of Chicago, I realized that the idea of artists producing their self portraits is something that has been present for a long time in the history of art. While at the museum, I saw the self portrait of Vincent van Gogh. Gogh is a Dutch artist who lived between 1853 and 1890. I was interested in the self-portrait because it could give me the impression of how Vincent van Gogh did his art. Although some people would argue that it is a selfish idea to produce self-portraits, I think it is a valuable idea, considering how van Gogh’s self portraits has continued to narrate about him and his style of doing art long after he died.
The observation of the self portrait revealed that the artist used oil that he mounted against cradled panel. I also observed that Gogh, like many people who produced self portraits, concentration on painting the region around the face. The self portrait covers the regions between the chest and the head. Ideally, Gogh produced the portrait from the front view. I also studied the artwork and realized that it fell in the category of medieval art but it also had the elements of modern European painting, for example, the use of color and light. The artwork has a clear separation of the background from the foreground. Color has the strategic use of separating the background from the foreground. The background is not natural but it is painted differently, using the color blue to distinguish the background from the foreground. However, the research that I did about the artwork also reveals that van Gogh did not just produce the self-portrait out of his imaginations. Instead, he used a previous art to paint his self-portrait. According to Art Institute of Chicago, van Gogh produced the self portrait in 1886, “Following the model of the 17th century artist, Rembrandt.” Consequently, I concluded that Rembrandt’s style influenced how van Gogh produced his self portrait.
Outside the museum, I interviewed three people who were frequent visitors at the facility, James, Aggrey, Linda. I asked them how important they thought the self-portrait was to the modern generation of artists. “I don’t think it is relevant to the modern artists, considering that it was done in the olden past,” Linda said. Aggrey supported Linda’s view, saying that the modern art may have little to borrow from the olden art, considering that technology has changed how artists do their work. I noted Aggrey’s point and asked James to confirm if Aggrey was right. James said, “Although technology has changed art, many artists still paint using the olden styles. Modern art cannot be independent from the olden art irrespective of technology.”
Although museums in the modern society still preserve the olden art, there is a growing feeling that they are of little relevance to the modern artists, especially because of technological change. However, the interview also yielded the notion that modern artists should still depend on the olden art-works for guidance. From the interview, I learned that the current generation dismisses the olden artists and their work, ignoring the important role that such collections play. Academics by itself teach artists about the historical development of art through various ages. Factually, it is important to store such artworks for their contribution to knowledge. The present state of art is a product of the historical development that has taken place over centuries. This, therefore, means that the olden arts, including van Gogh’s painting of his self-portrait, shall continue to remain relevant to the discourse of art.
In summary, the main point is that self portraits or other forms of arts that belong to the olden ages of art development are still relevant and should remain in the museums. Keeping the artworks is not just for the purpose of preserving them, but they also help in understanding the historical development of art. The artworks can also help us in understanding how art has developed over time. Artists need the past artworks for reference and guidance, the same way Gogh used Rembrandt’s art for reference. Technology, therefore, is not a factor that should rule out the olden artworks like van Gogh’s self-portrait.