Introduction Vince’s artistic work from a psychological view. The


Vince Van Gogh is one of the Netherlands’ most popular artists who
lived from 1853 to 1890. Very few artists have managed to create a body of
artistic work that is so inseparable from the myths and facts of the artist’s
persona and life. Vincent Van Gogh’s ecstatic passion and unbridled
contemplation of life, art, nature, his generosity, his intense religious and
spiritual zeal, sincere disposition, ardent and his mysterious and violent
illness that contributed to his suicide at the age of 37 years.  All of these have contributed to the powerful
and often inaccurate myths obscuring a clear comprehension of his life and his
artistic work. His stay at Arles, St. Remy and Auvers gave him time to paint at
a near frantic pace till he felt broke and crazy. His last thirty months of
life is composed of the most successful and prolific period of his artistic
work.  However, the mental extortion,
physical sheer and stress of this artistic output was too much for his
impinging illness, therefore as his condition worsened gradually, his artistic
work become increasingly simple, daring and accomplished at a tender age (Van
Gogh, 2017). Amongst his artistic work, “the Olive Trees” is what
caught my eyes as soon as I saw it. This essay will be focusing on, Vince Van
Gogh’s artistic work and try between his artistic work mainly, this of Olive
Trees’ colour, tone, style, images and symbolism to his personal and cultural
experiences and conflicts.

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The available letters show that Vince only worked during
comprehensible periods. It is ultimately, misguided to view and interpret
Vince’s artistic work from a psychological view. The available evidence shows
that he was in a stable condition to the extent of discussing his creative work
in a rational and superior manner with his friends and relatives. This
disputes, the myth that a vast of his artistic work was motivated by his
psychological conditions. In fact, his art was a catalyst for his related mental
illness. He raised sentiments of real regret at the rate of his mental and
physical disintegration that he believed were attributed to his obsession of
art. “the more I spent, the more I get ill, a broken pitcher, by so much
more I am an artist” He expressed his emotions. When we think of this
statement, a melancholic tone tents within us; we think of a time one could
have used little cost to create life than creating art. Although he was an
outsider (non-French) he quickly felt part of the Paris community of artists.
The use of light, the influence of the impressionists’ colour theories, his
rising interest in Japanese prints greatly helped in bringing Vince closer to
his artistic style; the use of pseudo- Pointillist approach to painting in
regular, discrete, short brushstrokes in heavy impasto and vibrant colours
(Van-Gogh, 2011).

Unlike other painters, Vince was a self-taught painter. For the
first two years, he did not paint anything; instead, he used them in perfecting
his artistic styles and skills. In 1884, moved to Paris where his career was
influenced by the impressionists. While in Paris, instead of using the dark,
moody hues he began using bright colours. Later one, because he was not a big
fan of the city he moved to Arles where he wanted to establish his artistic
colony, but his personality could not augur well with his partner; Vince wore
worn-out clothes and had a tendency of being stubborn and moody. Everyone
thought of him as unusual and treated him differently something that
significantly affected his artistic work (van & Gayford, 2017).

Amongst his famous paintings include the Starry Night that was
created on the evening of June 19, 1889, the sunflower painting, the Café at
Night painting and the Farmhouse in Provence. However, the one that has got my
eyes is “The Olive Trees painting”. 
This is oil on canvas painting. It forms just a piece in the
post-impressionist style. Post-impressionists extended the art of Impressionism
while rejecting its lack of emotions. These artists continued to apply the use
of thick application of paint, vivid colours, distinctive brush strokes and
Topofart (real-life subject matter). This is the type of style that is
witnessed throughout most of Vince’s artistic works particularly in this art of
“The Olive Trees”. In his artistic work, Vince used a technique known
as “impasto”, where he used thick oil paint combined with rough wide
brushstrokes to create a rich texture in the majority of his artistic work.
Apart from this work, he also used this technique in other works including The
Starry Night”. The subject matter of this painting is the Olive Trees
(Handel, 2013). They formed his immediate environment of the asylum which he
had admitted himself to it. Unlike other pictures he had done before his death,
this had a lighter mood. It seems, at this particular moment he had found
happiness or something off his mind that fascinating against his mental
sickness and deep depression. This can be witnessed through the bright colours
he used and the dancing lines he used to create a mellow and happy mood in the

By use of light coloured clouds and blued mountains, Van managed to
create a well-balanced atmosphere. The bright colour used for the shadows helps
in bringing out the unusual green colour used in the foreground grass and olive
trees. He brings the message of symmetrical balance. The movement of the
paintings, the mixture of blue, green and bright, the thickness amalgamates to
bring balance between nature and the social norms. The fresh colours clam the
serenity thereby producing a sense of balance. The movement, his paintings,
shows real-life atmosphere. Emphasis has focused the balance between the tones
to pay stability and the flow of nature. The rhythm of Vince’s pictures comes
in knowing that olive trees are flowing with the flow of clouds that gives them
a bright shadow. The bright colours used and the curvy lines applied amalgamate
and flow together to bring out the message of unity (Handel, 2013).

Vince’s paintings is a clear representation of the saying that real
painters do not paint things as they are, they paint them as they see them. His
paintings were pictorial message conveying his spiritual and emotional state to
the rest of his audience at a time he created them. The time and circumstances
under which he was living greatly impacted majority of his artistic work. For
example, his temperamental persona was echoed in his dramatic, rhythmic and
emotional resonance that conveyed far much the appearance and reflection of his
subject paintings i.e., the starry night. This laid emphasis on his emotional
life, through the painting of the tumultuous and swirling depiction of the skyline.


Despite being a self-taught artist, Vince Van Gogh was a very
talented artist. Collectively, he had very many artistic pieces to show the
world. In spite of having a moody and mental illness, he found a lot of
inspiration around him that formed the subject of his work. His artwork can be
found on the Van Gogh Museum that houses an extensive collection of artworks
done by him. Overall, Vince had emotions and a message in his artistic work.
Vince had financial support from his brother meaning that he supported his
career. The same way, when you buy his work or visit the Van Gogh Museum, you
are helping his career. Vince was an outstanding artist, and his work will
surely be in memory for quite some time.