Throughout his troubled but productive career, Vincent van Gogh repeatedly expressed his preeminent interest in portraiture. Until now, no major book or exhibition has been devoted to the subject. Van Gogh: Face to Face, an unprecedented and revealing publication accompanying the touring exhibition, will showcase over 200 color illustrations of the artist's great portraits and important paintings by other artists, supported by original essays from the exhibition's organizers and other leading scholars. It is published by The Detroit Institute of Arts and Thames & Hudson, Inc.
Insightful analysis of Van Gogh's career begins with a discussion of his lifelong interest in Dutch art and the formative influence of Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Frans Hals on Van Gogh, contributed by George Keyes, The Detroit Institute of Art's Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Painting and co-organizer of the Van Gogh exhibition. Lauren Soth, Professor of Art History at Carleton College, explores the stark but carefully finished drawings made by Van Gogh during his early years in The Hague. Exhibition co-organizer George T. M. Shackelford, Chair, Art of Europe at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, examines Van Gogh's work in Paris, which first showed the influence of his French contemporaries, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as the Impressionists.
Roland Dorn, an independent German scholar who has published widely on Van Gogh, revisits Van Gogh's feverishly productive period in Arles, where the artist painted many of his most powerful pictures, including the revolutionary sequence of portraits of the Roulin family. Following a breakdown, Van Gogh sought treatment in Saint Rémy and Auvers, and his haunting self-portraits and depiction of Dr. Gachet, the artist's final caregiver, are discussed by Judy Sund, Professor of Art History at Queens College.
Joseph J. Rishel, exhibition co-organizer and The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, concludes Van Gogh: Face to Face with an examination of Van Gogh's influence on later artists, including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Oskar Kokoschka, and Francis Bacon. Accompanying the essays is a detailed, four-part chronology of the painter's life by Katherine Sachs, Research Coordinator in the Museum's Department of European Painting before 1900.
Van Gogh Face to Face, a 272-page, 9 x 12" publication, is available in softcover for $29.95, and $50.00 in hardcover, at the Museum Stores, by calling (215) 684-7962, or online at www.philamuseum.org. Van Gogh: Face to Face will be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 22, 2000 to January 14, 2001.
Van Gogh: Face to Face is made possible in Philadelphia by Aetna and First Union. Additional support was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Amtrak, and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. NBC 10 WCAU is the broadcast media sponsor. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are the print media sponsors. The exhibition was organized by The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.