Exhibition catalogue - "Van Gogh Monticelli"
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
This is the French-language catalogue for the exhibition Van Gogh Monticelli, presented at the Centre de la vieille charité in Marseille, France in 2009.
The idea of exhibiting, and therefore confronting, the works of one of the world's most famous painters with those of another who is only known among art enthusiasts and who occupies a secondary place in Art History, could seem pretentious. However, it is important to remember that Van Gogh himself did not hesitate to make such a comparison, proposing that his brother Theo exhibit his canvases next to those of Monticelli, an artist he hoped to equal one day.
The reasons for confronting the works of two artists whose place in history is so different can be found at the heart of Van Gogh's most intimate legacy: his letters. These reveal his keen interest, which quickly grew into admiration, for this master of the Provencal school.
Few today are aware that Monticelli's paintings were one of Vincent's first artistic discoveries upon arriving in Paris and that they would play a key role in his decision to travel to Provence in search of the light of the Midi that the painter from Marseilles rendered "in a full, orangey yellow full of sulphur", according to Van Gogh.
Throughout his personal correspondence Vincent Van Gogh reveals that he is the best critic of Monticelli's work, fully understanding his originality and vision. He demonstrates an incomparable understanding of his painting, his unbridled technique and its texture, a thick impasto with gleaming effects of colour buried in the matter of paint itself.
Beyond this understanding, his letters also reveal a form of empathy. Vincent identified with the legend that rapidly grew around Monticelli after his death as a misunderstood artist.
Van Gogh recognised in the work of the artist, known for his numerous paintings of "fêtes galantes", the originality expressed in his treatment of familiar subjects: landscapes, flower arrangements, still lifes and portraits.
The exhibition proposes to show side by side subjects treated by both artists in order to highlight their vision of painting, their shared taste for texture and the primacy of feelings and emotion over design.
We will perhaps be able to better understand why Van Gogh considered Monticelli a visionary, to the point of encouraging his brother Theo to purchase several of his works.
- Publication :
- Septembre 2008
- Diffuseur :
- FLAMMARION SA
- Distributeur :
- FLAMMARION SA