Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Van Gogh and Lighthouses

I love Vincent Van Gogh's post-impressionist works, especially his "Starry Night," painted in June 1889 as he observed the night sky from his asylum window at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in southern France. Yes, he was deeply depressed at this time and had already maimed himself by cutting off a small part of his right ear. (Why does this single mad act define him when his art is his genuine identity??!!) But the throes of misery sometimes allow one to observe surroundings more imaginatively and let raw emotions be expressed. Van Gogh loved the night and its vibrant, liquid sky, and he spoke of the stars as being beacons of death: "Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star." Van Gogh's "Starry Night" shows Venus and a crescent moon. The original of this painting is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, New York City.

Imagine my surprise and delight to discover that painters who love lighthouses have set them into Van Gogh's lustrous night sky. I've assembled a small collection of them here. They inspire me to do my own rendering! Stand by for that amateur effort. In the meantime, enjoy these. 
Noo Cook painted this one.

Brian Vaughn painted this version. Can you guess the lighthouse? If you think it's Sanibel Lighthouse in Florida, you're right..

Janet Loudon painted Kenosha Light ala Van Gogh.

This is Pat Williams post-impressionistic Bodie Lighthouse.

Thesea McCracken put starfish in her starry night painting. The lighthouse is not identified, though it looks a bit like North Head Lighthouse.

Stephanie Kohler put a generic lighthouse in her starry painting.

Studio G has this "Dark Knight" with starry skies and a lighthouse, posted by Feather.

James Hensman added a Van Goghish sky behind his painting of Twillingsgate Lighthouse.

Here's a rendering by Thomas Powers.

Jim Sharp's "Portland Head" is done in the style of Van Gogh.

I love this one! Dan Sproul captured an icy St. Joseph Pierhead Light with heavy brush strokes and swirling skies. This reminds me of Jim Gills wonderful icy lighthouse photos.

Have you painted a Van Gogh lighthouse? Send me a scan of it! Wouldn't it be fun to organize a Van Gogh Lighthouse show? As always, I welcome your comments, input, and ideas.  (lightkeeper0803@gmail.com)

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