VAN GOGH, GARDENS AND COLOR.

VAN GOGH, GARDENS AND COLOR. Robin Lane Fox, who is a distinguished gardener and a distinguished classical historian, had an article in the Financial Times (February 6-7) which was inspired by the Van Gogh letters. Van Gogh loved gardens and flowers. Fox says that gardeners today are still often encouraged to plan in terms of the “color wheel”, which at the time Van Gogh was painting was a recent development. (A French chemist promoted it in the 1860’s.) The color wheel arranges the colors in graduated shades. (Annalisa looked over my shoulder and suggested “chroma” instead of “shades”; I was unfamiliar with the word.) The idea is to use opposite colors or neighboring shades. Van Gogh never mentions the wheel, but his letters show that he knew its ideas. Van Gogh kept a basket of balls of wool in different colors to test whether shades could be combined. He wrote his sister that there are “colors which cause each other to shine brilliantly, which form a COUPLE [italics in original], which complement each other like man and woman.” I think of painting in terms of what the eye sees; you paint what you see. The idea of choosing a palette for a painting seems novel.

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One Response to VAN GOGH, GARDENS AND COLOR.

  1. Dick Weisfelder says:

    Did you notice that experts recently authenticated a van Gogh painting? See it at the following and many other sites.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100224/ap_on_en_ot/eu_netherlands_new_van_gogh

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