Light, the obsession of Van Gogh
Meeting with art historian, Pascal Bonafoux, for "Vincent Van Gogh, the madman of painting" ', which gives to hear the painter's voice through the extraordinary series of letters he wrote to his brother, faithful accomplice of all his life. Tewfik Hakem speaks with art historian Pascal Bonafoux on the occasion of the publication of Vincent Van Gogh, the painting madman. ( an audio artbook).
A biography of the painter and a booklet, with a text by Pascal Bonafoux, read by Julien Allouf, Works with comments by the author, and Letters from Van Gogh read by Michael Lonsdale. Vincent Van Gogh, Le fou de peinture • Credits: Editions Thélème 2020 There are these two canvases by Van Gogh that overwhelm me, the first is one of his last self-portraits, which is an extraordinary blue self-portrait, and the second - this is the last of his works - the one that represents roots in the edge of a path. Both paintings show us how to approach Van Gogh in his pictorial dimension. How with his self-portraits, he succeeds little by little in becoming himself, in inventing himself pictorially. How with this last work, "Racines", which he paints a few hours before shooting himself in the head, he opens up a pictorial space that is unexpected - even if this painting echoes a very old drawing made in the Netherlands. During his whole life - which was short, Van Gogh will have eight years of painting - he will not stop looking at the painting of others, to think of painters, of the masters he has met, starting with Millet. He dreamed letter after letter - he wrote dozens, hundreds, in which he tells his brother Theo about the process of its creation, his visits to the museum, his marvels in front of a Rembrandt, how he looks at a Delacroix, etc. "He will take all the risks. Van Gogh's thought is done with emotion. It is with emotion that he discovers colors" This extraordinary process of creation is interesting in the eyes of Vincent Van Gogh. He spent hours writing and, what is more, in a magnificent language, efficient, rough, implacable these letters which also say a very great reader. He spoke of course Dutch, French, English. He has read, thought, reflected in several languages. It is also one of the riches of Van Gogh's thought which is never theoretical, but always limited to practice and emotion. A religious obsession The quest for dazzling, lightning light is a necessity for him. We must undoubtedly add something. Behind all this in Van Gogh, there is a mystical, religious order dimension. Let's remember; very young, he wanted to be a pastor, and failing to pass his exams, he was admitted as pastoral assistant in a region, the Borinage, where poverty is the order of the day for all households. He experiences darkness and light as he descends to the bottom of a well. The hole above him is like a star of light. He then explains that he wants to paint the same light that he tried to bring to miners, women in poverty, and children of miners, the same light felt when reading the Bible and the Gospels. He will take all the risks. Van Gogh's thinking is done with emotion. It is with emotion that he discovers colors. Seen on France Culture Video about Van Gogh
Meeting with art historian, Pascal Bonafoux, for "Vincent Van Gogh, the madman of painting" ', which gives to hear the painter's voice...