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Royal Academy art through Van Gogh’s words

vgThe Real Van Gogh: the Artists and his Letters, is the new exhibit at the Royal Academy and its attempt to combat the common myth that Van Gogh was a madman blessed with genius, as it instead chooses to portray him as a professional artist.

The attempt starts with a stroll through the first gallery in which viewers see that Van Gogh wrote in order to voice his needs and thoughts in a clear fashion.  What is interesting is that the voice that is portrayed in the letters discusses how to actually paint and draw by informing friends and his brother about how he is learning to create art with new brushes or pencils.  A significant fact to notice is that the letters are not outcries of suffering or depression.

Although it may seem as if this would make for a boring gallery, the actual effect is anything but, with the 30 drawings and 65 paintings that surround the exhibit which is a remarkable collection complied from loans and displayed in their full glory.

Some may enjoy the fact that the letters give significance to the painted works, while others may simply see the letters as art on their own as Van Gogh’s delicate instructions are an inspiration for any aspiring artist.

The most intrinsic aspect of the exhibit however is that by reading the letters Van Gogh wrote about his paintings before studying them the viewer gets the rare opportunity to see each painting through the actual artist’s eyes, which is the real charm of the entire show.

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