My first impression of Van Gogh was through the Childcraft series’ art and culture book. I remember seeing his paintings and reading about his anger. Yesterday, I saw a documentary about Van Gogh and imagined it to have information about his paintings. Well, it was a 2 part series about his one painting- the famous Sunflowers. Experts spoke about the colours he used, the symbolism of the sunflowers, the landscape of his life at that point of time, his friends then and also the topography of Arles in France where he painted the sunflowers. It reminded me yet again that a painting may be just one frame, one moment captured, but it has a long story to tell. If only we knew how to listen.
For absolute art dodos (like meself) I do recommend the daily tours at National Gallery, London, UK which have an art enthusiast explaining 2-3 celebrated paintings from the gallery in detail. They take you through each layer explaining the social, religious and cultural metaphors that the painting stands for. They also talk about the painter’s life, their personality etc that takes your understanding of art beyond strokes, colours and names.