Van Gogh’s Literary Influences

“Books and reality and art are the same kind of thing for me.”
– Vincent Van Gogh

In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh sold The Red Vineyard, a vibrant field of color abuzz with laborers, to an intimate supporter of the hungry artist for today’s equivalent of $2000. These days, a single painting by Van Gogh More

In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh sold The Red Vineyard, a vibrant field of color abuzz with laborers, to an intimate supporter of the hungry artist for today’s equivalent of $2000. These days, a single painting by Van Gogh can go for as much $66m at Sotheby’s, and Van Gogh™ is a billion dollar industry. And the topper is that The Red Vineyard, if sold today, probably would be the single most expensive painting ever bought, not because it was the most popular artist’s best, but because it’s the only one he ever sold in his lifetime. (Wow.)

Over the decades there have been a number of film accounts of Van Gogh’s work and life, from Stanley Kubrick’s Kirk Douglas-driven Technicolor slave revolt from Black-and-White, to the more recent BBC biopic, Painted with Words, starring Benedict Cumberbatch with a script derived solely from Van Gogh’s written words. Continue reading “Van Gogh’s Literary Influences”

The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement

Realism in literature has its origins in 19th century Europe. The French writer who is credited as having created the Realist movement is Honoré de Balzac. But, what is realism in literature and how did Balzac help to start it? In this article, we will go deeply into answering these two interrelated questions.

The best way to begin to understand realism in literature is by defining the term realism. As its most simple and broad, realism is a representation of reality.

Before the 19th century, writers were not interested in representing everyday life in their works. It is important to note, before we go any further that, realism is not the same as plausibility. Realism is the representation of everyday experiences and activities of the characters whereas plausibility means created a plot that has internal coherence.

So, when we say that before the 1800s writers did not depict everyday life in their work, it does not mean that everything produced before then was in the realm of fantasy. It is simply, that writers did not often write about ordinary people leading ordinary lives, at least not in the level of detail as some did from the 19th century.

But depicting everyday life is not enough for realism, this depiction must lack any romanticizing

Although Realism began in painting and literature (prose and plays) and then, in the twentieth century, to cinema.

Continue reading “The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement”