Van Gogh – Mental Illness and Genius

By Deena Sherman Passionate works of art using vibrant colors, thickly applied paint and bold brushstrokes are only half the story of Vincent van Gogh. The other half is the tragedy of a man who often despaired, had a violent temper and mental illness and who eventually committed suicide. The Dutch post-impressionist painter is a star in the world of …

Henri Matisse

By Deena Sherman Henri Matisse is known as one of the greatest 20th century artists, rivaled only perhaps by Picasso, and there is a good reason why. Look at his painting Two Figures Reclining in a Landscape, 1921. It draws the viewer in and invites one to lie down near the two women. Matisse used bold brushstrokes and vibrant shades …

John William Waterhouse

By Deena Sherman John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) usually painted sensual, although some would say superficial, pictures. His colors were rich and his technique was superb. After the Dance (1876), which depicts two young children, is typical. Sleep and His Half-Brother Death (1874) is less usual because of its subject matter and its depth of feeling. Born in Rome to English …

Marc Chagall

By Deena Sherman For a Hasidic Jew born in a Russian village in 1887 to become a world-renowned artist was an almost unimaginable feat. With the exception of a few who were permitted in cities, Jews were forced to live in the so-called Pale of Settlement where pogroms and repression reigned. In Marc Chagall’s traditional community, an artist was a …

Edvard Munch – Fear, Illness and Fame

By Deena Sherman Edvard Munch, best known for his painting, The Scream, was tormented by the tragedies of his childhood – and haunted by the demons of his mind. Munch was born in the capital of Norway, Christiana (now called Oslo) in 1863. His father was a religious fanatic who earned a modest income as a doctor. His mother, 20 …

Van Gogh – Mental Illness and Genius

By Deena Sherman Passionate works of art using vibrant colors, thickly applied paint and bold brushstrokes are only half the story of Vincent van Gogh. The other half is the tragedy of a man who often despaired, had a violent temper and mental illness and who eventually committed suicide. The Dutch post-impressionist painter is a star in the world of …