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Vincent van Gogh

Important Terms and People

Summary

Family and Childhood (1853–1871)

Abstract Expressionism  -   · the term coined by critic Robert Coates in 1946 to describe the style of the New York School in comparison to that of Wassily Kandinsky
abstraction -   · a mode of non-representational art based on conceptual or formal issues and principles instead of the depiction of concrete, objective, perceived reality; the most important achievement of modernism
antinaturalism -   · any mode of representation that deliberately distorts reality or observed nature toward expressive or abstracted ends
Artistes Independents, Societe des  -   · independent post-Impressionist exhibition group that exhibited van Gogh's work
Art Nouveau -   · post-Impressionist school of art influenced by pattern, decoration, Symbolism, and craft
Albert Aurier  -   · writer and art critic; friend of van Gogh after he published a favorable article about his work
avant-garde  -   · a term that describes the forefront or cutting edge of the art world; usually applied to modernism and the arts underground
Barbizon School -   · a group of French Realist painters, including Corot, Daumier, and Rousseau, whose work influenced the development of Impressionism
Baudelaire, Charles -   · extremely important French Symbolist poet and critic
Bazille, Jean-Frederic -   · (1841–1870) important early Impressionist and friend of Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, and Renoir, whose career was cut tragically short by the Franco-Prussian War
Emile Bernard  -   · (1868–1941) Nabi painter and close friend of van Gogh; colleague of Gauguin
Boudin, Eugene-Louis -   · (1824–1898) older pre-Impressionist and Impressionist painter who first encouraged Monet to paint in the open air
Boussod, Valadon, and Company -   · the art firm that replaced Goupil and Company; Theo van Gogh's employer
Cassatt, Mary -   · (1845–1926) important American member of the inner Impressionist circle
Paul Cezanne  -   · (1839–1906) revolutionary Impressionist and post-Impressionist painter whose work made Cubism possible
Chevreul, Michel-Eugene -   · French color theorist whose critical work influenced Impressionism, neo- Impressionism, and Orphism
John Constable -   · (1776–1837) important late Romantic British landscape painter whose light- infused work influenced Realists and Impressionists
Corot, Jean-Baptiste-Camille  -   · (1796–1875) preeminent French Realist landscape painter, whose work is most related to early Impressionism
Gustave Courbet  -   · (1819–1877) influential Realist painter whose developments eventually led to Impressionism
Cubism  -   · a revolutionary modernist style developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris in 1908–9 involving the fracture of three-dimensional space into two-dimensional planes or "facets," allowing the simultaneity of multiple perspectives in painting and sculpture; see "Cubism" section for detailed discussion of development and impact of "Analytic" and "Synthetic" modes
Daumier, Honore -   · (1808–1879) important Realist painter, printmaker, cartoonist, and sculptor who influenced Impressionists
Edgar Degas  -   · (1834–1917) important Impressionist painter, sculptor, and photographer known for his progressive compositions and excellent draftsmanship
Eugene Delacroix  -   · (1798–1863) the master and finest colorist of French Romanticism
Divisionism -   · Signac's term for Pointillism or neo-Impressionism; see "Pointillism"
Duchamp, Marcel -   · (1887–1968) Cubist painter, Dada artist, original avant-garde provocateur, one of the leading figures of twentieth-century art
Durand-Ruel -   · Paris art gallery primarily responsible for promoting and selling Impressionist work
Ecole des Beaux-Arts -   · the "School of Fine Arts"; the French academy in control of the official Salon and French art in general until the rise of the Impressionists
en plein air -   · literally, "in open-air"; the credo of most Impressionist landscape painters who thought it necessary to work only outside in natural light from reality and nature; formulated by Longkind, Boudin, Monet, Pissarro, Bazille, and others
Expressionism  -   · the modernist opposite and parallel to Cubism, a broad term used to describe a range of movements after post-Impressionism concerned with psychological human expressiveness over formal or optical principles–it encompasses German/Austrian Expressionism, New Objectivity, French Expressionism, Fauvism, etc.; see Modernism II
Fauvism  -   · the style of French Expressionism instigated by Henri Matisse and the Fauves in 1905 and characterized by primitivism, simplification, flat forms, and vibrant color
Freud, Sigmund -   · Austrian scientist who developed the notion of psychoanalysis and the subconscious; his ideas were important for many Symbolists and Surrealists
Fry, Roger -   · critic who coined the term "post-Impressionism" in 1910
Gachet, Dr. Paul  -   · the doctor in Auvers who supervised van Gogh; also a good friend to him and one of his most famous portrait subjects
Paul Gauguin  -   · (1848–1903) the most important Symbolist painter and the father of modernist Expressionism and Fauvism
Marie Ginoux  -   · resident of Arles and good friend to van Gogh, also one of his favorite portrait subjects
Gleyre, Marc Gabriel -   · painter who ran an influential Paris teaching studio attended by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Bazille, and others
Goupil and Company -   · the international art firm where both Vincent and Theo van Gogh worked
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de -   · (1746–1828) major iconoclastic and massively influential figure of Romantic era art, famous for his gruesome and grotesque paintings and prints
The Hague School -   · the Dutch counterpart to the French Barbizon School of Realists
impasto -   · art historical term for the thick application of paint
Impressionism  -   · a style that technically existed from 1874–1886, an enormously influential movement of painters interested in rendering optical and light effects as they are perceived spontaneously by the human eye and the camera, in nature and from reality
Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique -   · (1780–1867) the dominant French artist of the nineteenth-century, associated with neo-Classicism and Romanticism, known for his technical perfection and excellent draftsmanship
Jongkind, Johan -   · (1819–1891) enormously influential older Dutch pre-Impressionist painter whose landscapes and handling of light and color were an important influence, especially for Monet
Les XX  -   · Les Vingt, or "The Twenty"; post-Impressionist Belgian exhibition group that exhibited van Gogh and tried to reject Ensor
Edouard Manet  -   · (1823–1883) pivotal Realist/Impressionist painter whose work with color and flat, non-illusionistic forms helped determine Impressionism, post- Impressionism, and modernism
Henri Matisse  -   · (1869–1954) father of Fauvism and Expressionist modernism; see Modernism II
Anton Mauve  -   · (1838–1888) Realist painter, member of The Hague School; van Gogh's cousin by marriage and teacher
Jules Michelet -   · French romantic historian; van Gogh's favorite writer as a young man for his views on women
Jean-Francois Millet  -   · (1814–1875) master French Realist painter, famous for The Sower; one of van Gogh's favorite artists and biggest influences
Modernism  -   · a vague and general term describing a historical and social condition resulting in part from the broad influence of the Industrial Revolution and important 19th-century scientific advances; in terms of art, the period from roughly 1886 (the end of Impressionism, the beginning of post- Impressionism) through WWII; for the purposes of this SparkNote, the period from the turn of the 20th century through the end of WWII characterized by new modes of decentralized perception and representation; see "Context" for more detailed description
Claude Monet  -   · (1840–1926) important and central Impressionist painter, known for his landscapes, light studies, and late abstractions
Morisot, Berthe -   · (1841–1895) important Impressionist painter of domestic interiors and women
Munch, Edvard  -   · (1863–1944) important post-Impressionist, Symbolist painter of sickness and death; his dark, psychological paintings influenced German and Austrian Expressionism
Nabis, the  -   · a group of post-Impressionist painters who attempted to revise the subject matter, color, and design of Impressionist painting
Nadar, Felix -   · photographer who helped organize the historic 1874 Impressionist exhibit in his studios
neo-Classicism -   · early to mid-nineteenth century style characterized by a return to ancient Greco-Roman themes and theatrical space; also refers to any style based on draughtsmanship and Greco-Roman motifs
nonobjectivity -   · interchangeable with "abstraction"; a mode of non-representational art based on conceptual or formal issues and principles instead of the depiction of concrete, objective, perceived reality; the most important achievement of modernism
Picasso, Pablo -   · (1886–1974) co-founder of Cubism and arguably the most influential figure in twentieth-century art; modernist master of painting and sculpture and leading figure of neo-Expressionism and Surrealism; see "Pablo Picasso" section
Camille Pissarro  -   · (1830–1903) important Impressionist promoter, theoretician, teacher, and landscape painter
Pointillism -   · school of neo-Impressionist art led by Seurat that employed discreet "points" or dots of paint to creat light and space illusions; also "Divisionism"
post-Impressionism  -   · a broad term referring to the period between 1886–1905, the beginning of modernism; encompasses the movements Symbolism, Art Nouveau, Pointillism, proto- Expressionism, and the career of Cezanne
pre-Raphaelites -   · group of nineteenth century British artists (primarily painters and poets) who sought a formal and conceptual return to the classical ideals of the Renaissance artists before Raphael; led by the Rossettis
Ravoux -   · the name of the family who ran the inn where van Gogh stayed while in Auvers
Realism  -   · a term that refers to a period in mid-nineteenth century painting; also refers to any style concerned with the realistic, optical-perceptual depiction of concrete reality
Rembrandt Harmensz, van Rijn -   · (1606–1669) the ultimate old master of the Baroque; one of van Gogh's primary influences and a fellow Dutchman
Pierre-Auguste Renoir  -   · (1841–1919) important Impressionist portrait and figure painter
Romanticism  -   · refers to dominant nineteenth-century movement (or any other style) that values emotion over intellect or rationality
Joseph Roulin -   · a postman in Arles; a good friend and favorite portrait model (along with his family) for van Gogh
Rousseau, Theodore -   · (1812–1867) Realist landscape painter and founder of the influential Barbizon School
Rubens, Peter Paul  -   · (1577–1640) great Flemish Baroque master whom van Gogh considered the greatest Baroque painter
Salon -   · the official, government-sponsored annual art exhibition, organized and dominated by the conservative Ecole des Beaux-Arts
Salon des Refuses -   · the landmark exhibition inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1863 for the large volumes of progressive and early Impressionist work refused entry by the official Salon judges
Sargent, John Singer -   · (1856–1925) American promotor of Impressionists and important American painter influenced heavily by Impressionism and Realism, particularly Manet and Monet
Paul Signac -   · (1863–1935) neo-Impressionist disciple of Seurat, friend of van Gogh
Sisley, Alfred  -   · (1839–1899) British but French-born Impressionist, known for his gloomy landscapes
Societe Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, etc. -   · the rather unimpressive name the Impressionists gave themselves before the term "Impressionism" was coined in 1874: "The Cooperative Society of Artists, Painters, Sculptors, etc."
Symbolism  -   · a term that refers to the post-Impressionist movement (or any other style) that uses concrete imagery to refer to abstract principles
Pere Tanguy -   · owner of a Paris art shop that served as an avant-garde headquarters; a friend and model to van Gogh
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec  -   · (1864–1901) post-Impressionist painter of Parisian nightlife, friend of van Gogh
Turner, Joseph Mallord William  -   · (1775–1851) progressive British late Romantic landscape painter whose work heavily influenced the Impressionists
Tuscan Macchiaioli -   · group of Italian painters equivalent to the Impressionists
Vincent van Gogh  -   · (1853–1890) important post-Impressionist and proto-Expressionist painter; read this SparkNote
Willemina (Wil) Jacoba -   · (1862–1941) Vincent's favorite sister
Anton Van Rappard  -   · (1858–1892) Dutch painter with whom van Gogh studied
Whistler, James -   · (1834–1903) important American painter and friend of Impressionists, whose work approached abstraction, transcending the influence of Impressionism
Zola, Emile -   · critic and writer who was an early defender and champion of the Impressionists

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