I checked out an audiobook of Mr. Gaiman reading the novel and what do I hear? A light, joking conversation about expensive food in museums and attempting to use Tintoretto and Van Gogh paintings to buy them instead of money. Before that, the author references the Louvre, the Tate Gallery, and the National Gallery. As he mentions these places, Gaiman observed that taking in-depth tours of these places will leave you aching and “the great art treasures of the world blur into each other after a while”. As someone who does this, Gaiman wrote the truth.
Amazing the art history references one can find in both the original stories and various adaptations. If you want to read about art history and the Mona Lisa subplot in the Granada adaptation of The Final Problem, I recommend Three Pipe Problem’s highly informative take on the story.
Cut for spoilers
A Pair of Shoes
Part of the Man In Black series hosted by Edward de Souza, (think Twilight Zone) they featured an effectively scary story about a couple who move into this new house with a horrible past and a pair of boots. As the progresses, one character reference Van Gogh and his depiction of footwear.
Of course, the Dutch artist did multiple versions.
Made by a different distributor, this app has a collection of the works of Vincent Van Gogh. It provides facts about his life, and every painting has information where a museum has it displayed. A cute little app, for people who need a time waster and want to look at Van Gogh paintings besides Starry Night and his self-portrait. On this app’s section on Van Gogh’s life, this app features a bullet point list of events in Van Gogh’s life, but really, I doubt people download free apps of art for a comprehensive biography. They just want to take some time to look at some lovely paintings.
Found this documentary on Netflix Instantly. After receiving the feelings of curiosity, I clicked on it and watched. With permission of the Musee D’orsay and the Van Gogh Museum, filmmaker Francois Bertrand shot a 39 minute film of the artist’s art and the places he visited and painted. To top this all off, a narrator with a thick French accent plays the part of Vincent commenting on his fame and telling his life. That part? Does not come out well. If they wanted to make a documentary on how people take care of the Post-Impressionism’s work, then they should have done that. If they wanted to have Van Gogh speak for himself, then have someone narrate his letters. This combination just makes this documentary a slight mess. With footage of the director shooting places and paintings, it felt less about Van Gogh and more about him and his crew. It felt out-of-place.
On the other hand, they created very pretty footage. The sweeping grandeur of the locations that inspired the Dutch painter exudes a haunting, sacred quality. I felt as if I walked in Van Gogh’s footsteps. Not to mention the cool up close shots of his paintings. I loved seeing the thick paint that accented the artist’s unique style. Finally, his suicide never fails to tug at the heartstrings. The narrator captured it so well that I felt a little misty eyed from listening to a man crushed by loneliness.
Art History in the News: Van Gogh ‘Poppy Flowers’ painting valued at $50 million stolen in Egypt still missing – National International Headlines (Found this via Gawker)
More information from the Associated Press:
“CAIRO — Egypt’s top prosecutor says security lapses are to blame for the theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting from a Cairo museum.
Prosecutor general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud says none of the alarms and only seven out of 43 surveillance cameras at the Mahmoud Khalil Museum were functioning Saturday when the painting was stolen.”
“Egypt’s culture ministry said Saturday that police had recovered the painting from an Italian couple at Cairo airport. But it later backtracked, saying the statement was based on false information and that the search for the painting continues.”
Loved it. Very touching. Regarding any tropes? Use of Art Reenactments? Definitely. Now, I would like to compare this episode with the real life of Van Gogh, but I do not fully know all the details of his life. All in all, I found it an elegant portrayal of a man whom society could not equipped to ease his suffering. However, now that I am thinking about it, I commend them for not using the ear cutting story.
When the movie talks about Van Gogh and posthumous celebrity, I can’t help but wonder. If he lived now, would he have a famous reputation, or just became a outsider artist?
I am always late to these types of things. So, the Doctor has returned to using famous artworks as plot points. Any Whovian can remember the famous Douglas Adams penned episode City of Death where he used the Mona Lisa as a plot device for the delightfully intricate story.
So far, I have only seen clips and I love the sunflowers everywhere. However, doesn’t Van Gogh look like Conan O’Brien?
By the way, I watched one of the other clips where Van Gogh reveals that he hates flowers. Like Georgia O’ Keeffe and Robert Mapplethorpe (I read in a book somewhere that he did not like flowers).
By the way, speaking of City of Death…
This blog writes about the famed Dutch artist, his interaction with pop culture, and the blogger’s play about him. Reminds me of the plot to Julie and Julia. All in all, a very cute little website. One cute little addition came from that you could read this in different languages.