Van Gogh: Beyond the Myth

Vincent van Gogh, Cypresses, 1889 (courtesy of the Clark Art Institute)
Vincent van Gogh, Cypresses, 1889 (courtesy of the Clark Art Institute)

Peter Walsh reviews Van Gogh and Nature at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, on view through September 13, 2015.

Walsh writes that "the elimination of the haunted self portraits, including the icon images of the artist with a bandaged ear, shifts attention away from van Gogh the half-savage tortured soul and towards van Gogh the intelligent, enthusiastic, sophisticated, deliberate, and extraordinarily talented creator of intensely original works of art... What is perhaps most remarkable of all about this exhibition is that you can go from beginning to end without picking up a clue about van Gogh’s turbulent personal life. Instead, you see an artist approaching his chosen career with a deliberate plan, concisely and brilliantly carried out, proceeding by distinct stages until he reaches, and makes full use of, the peak of his powers, which he does until the very end of his life."