Make us homepage
Add to Favorites
FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

Main page » Other » The Glory of van Gogh


The Glory of van Gogh

 
20

The Glory of van Gogh
The image of the great artist as a suffering visionary is a recent invention, observes sociologist Nathalie Heinich - an invention rooted in the "canonization" of Vincent van Gogh as a cultural hero for the twentieth century. Heinich explores how and why the impoverished and mentally tormented van Gogh came to be glorified shortly after his suicide at the age of 37. Did the secular art world need a rebel-saint of its own? In considering this possibility, the author explores the history of efforts to celebrate van Gogh, whether in biographies or on T-shirts, showing how the details of his life have been constructed according to the pattern of a Christian saint's rise to recognition. These biographical details circulated first as anecdotes, then as historical truths, and finally became legendary motifs defining individual greatness.
Heinich organizes her book around the stages that characterize the life of a saint-deviation, renewal, reconciliation, and pilgrimage, the latter culminating in visits to van Gogh's burial site and the competition to buy his paintings or "relics." Heinich explores the economics of the art market and the themes that make up the van Gogh myth, such as the personalization of artistic grandeur, the celebration of the interiority of the creator, and the glorification of abnormality. By examining the mythology that helps drive artistic investment, she forces us to reconsider the nature of admiration and particularly the notion that obscurity during an artist's lifetime is a guarantee of true genius.



Purchase The Glory of van Gogh from Amazon.com
Dear user! You need to be registered and logged in to fully enjoy Englishtips.org. We recommend registering or logging in.
Tags: Heinich, explores, details, burial, visits