Vincent van Gogh, new film


This video says about itself:

Loving Vincent, Official Theatrical Trailer

7 August 2017

LOVING VINCENT is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film. Written & directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman, produced by Poland’s BreakThru Films & UK’s Trademark Films.

The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent’s brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death.

In theaters beginning September 22.

Van Gogh paintings and children


This video says about itself:

The Van Gogh Museum Eye-tracking Project

30 September 2016

Read the scientific paper at this link.

Many of us appreciate art, but no-one really knows how or why we do so. Researchers in the field of empirical aesthetics attempt to answer such questions. The way people look at paintings is often studied by letting participants look at images on a computer screen in a laboratory setting, during which their gaze is tracked using a stationary, bulky, eye tracker. Obviously this is not a ‘natural setting’ in which people normally view paintings or appreciate art, so the question remains how well viewing behaviour in such laboratory settings approaches that of real life.

That’s why a group of researchers from the Department of Experimental and Applied psychology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam decided to use a very different and novel approach. Francesco Walker, assisted by Berno Bucker, Daniel Schreij, Nicola Anderson, and supervised by prof. Jan Theeuwes, used a mobile eye-tracker to track the gaze of children and adults as they viewed actual paintings on display at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, one of the world’s most famous museums.

The main topic of study was how stimulus-driven and goal-driven processes work together in guiding our attention or gaze through a painting, and if there is a difference between children and adults in how this happens. Stimulus-driven processes direct our attention to certain locations in a painting that are very conspicuous, such as spots that are brighter than their surroundings or objects with a color that stands out. On the other hand, goal-driven processes steers our attention toward locations in the painting that are aligned with our goals, intentions or desires.

In the first phase of the study, we asked our participants to view a selected set of five Van Gogh paintings. In the second phase, we gave them a briefing with some specific back story of each painting, after which asked them to view the paintings again. The differences between their eye movements in the two phases showed that bottom-up cues had a greater influence on the children than the adults and that the effects of the briefing were stronger and longer-lasting in the adults.

The Van Gogh Museum Eye-tracking Project demonstrates the feasibility of studies in museum settings, and brings collaborations between museum and universities to a whole new level: the educational staff of the VGM did not only give us the opportunity to perform our study in the museum – they contributed actively in every phase of the study. We believe that in empirical aesthetics, this kind of active collaboration between scientific and cultural institutions is not only possible, but essential, and hope that our pioneering work will lead to future collaborations with the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam, and with other high profile institutions.

From Science News:

Here’s how a child sees a Van Gogh painting

by Laura Sanders

8:00am, July 2, 2017

One of the best things about having young children is that they give you a new way to see the world — a total cliché, yes, but true. Rainbows in water fountains are mesmerizing. Roly-poly bugs are worth stopping for. Bright blouses on strangers are remarked on, loudly. It’s occasionally embarrassing but always fun to see how this gorgeous world captivates children.

An inventive new study attempted to get inside the minds of children as they looked at works of art, specifically paintings hanging in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Francesco Walker, a cognitive psychologist who conducted the study while at VU University Amsterdam, and colleagues equipped nine children and 12 adults with eye-tracking headsets as they observed five paintings. The children were ages 11 and 12. Participants saw each painting twice, before and after hearing a description of the art.

When the children first viewed a Van Gogh painting, they focused on bold, bright colors and attention-grabbing objects: A striped house, vivid roses, dark trees painted against a light skyline.

But after they heard a little background information about the paintings, their gazes shifted. For instance, after seeing the serene “Landscape at Twilight” for the first time, the children were told that some of the hay contained green flecks of paint from a different painting. During their second look at the painting, the children spent more time looking at the hay.

The adults, in contrast, weren’t as drawn to the bright colors and attention-grabbing objects on their first (or second) looks. They focused more on other areas of the paintings.

The results, published June 21 in PLOS ONE, show that when children are given context about a painting they shift what they focus on while viewing it.

That switch in gaze represents an interesting switch in thinking, the researchers believe. The first type of viewing relies on “bottom-up” attention, in which the eye is drawn to whatever visually pops out. Walker describes this sort of looking as something involuntary, driven by the physical properties of an object or scene. The second sort of attention, called “top-down,” is more purposeful. “Top-down attentional control is driven voluntarily, by factors that are internal to the observer,” Walker says.

Looking for your friend in a crowd, holding a picture of her in mind, requires intentional searching. That’s a top-down task. But if you’re suddenly captivated by the sight of a monkey playing a tiny accordion, that would be a bottom-up diversion. Studies like this one on children and adults suggest that with age, “top-down processes become more and more important, while bottom-up attention loses strength,” Walker says.

Similar data would be much harder to pull from younger, wigglier children. I showed one of the paintings used in the study — Van Gogh’s “Tree Roots,” an abstract jumble of blue and brown and green — to my 4-year-old.

In the absence of eye-tracking technology, I just asked my daughter what she saw. She started by naming colors: “Blue, green, brown.” After she ran through all of the hues, I asked if she saw anything else. She paused, considering the image carefully. “Is it dinosaurs?” she asked. I told her that it’s a painting of tangled, blue tree roots in the ground. “But that green part looks like a Tyrannosaurus,” she told me. As her little finger gestured toward my computer screen, I saw what she meant: A green T. Rex head, rising majestically from the roots.

Van Gogh watercolour bought by museum


Van Gogh's watercolour bought by museum

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Noordbrabants Museum buys watercolour by Van Gogh

Today, 10:11

The Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch has acquired a watercolour by Vincent Van Gogh. It is The garden of the parsonage in Nuenen, the last known watercolour he made in Nuenen in 1885. The museum calls the work its most important purchase ever; a price has not been mentioned. The watercolour is the first experiment by Van Gogh with walking figures and couples in a garden.

This Van Gogh work fits according to the Noordbrabants Museum in their ambition to show an overview of the Brabant period of the artist.

Van Gogh lived for over a year and half with his parents in the parsonage in Nuenen. He made several works in the garden of the rectory. The painting which the master made of the garden was lost in World War II, and is known only from black and white reproductions.

Private collection

The work was probably acquired in 1903 by art critic and art teacher Hendrik Bremmer, who later became adviser of Helene Kröller-Müller. After his death the work stayed in his family and in 1969 ended up in the private collection where the museum now has acquired it from.

Van Gogh paintings, stolen by mafia, found again


Sea at Scheveningen by Vincent van Gogh

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Police find stolen Van Gogh paintings in Mafia house in Italy

Today, 09:55

After fourteen years, two stolen Van Gogh paintings have been found in Italy. They were found in fairly good condition during a police investigation near Naples. According to Italian media they were in the hands of the Mafia.

They are the works Sea at Scheveningen made in 1882, and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen from 1884/1885. They are estimated to be worth millions of euros.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the paintings were found in a house in Castel Marie di Stabia, near Pompeii. There they were said to be in the hands of the big shots of the Neapolitan Mafia.

Theft

The paintings were stolen in 2002 from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The thieves climbed early in the morning with a ladder to the first floor of the museum. There they struck a window with a sledgehammer, and climbed through inside.

Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, by Vincent van Gogh

Now, let us hope that all of the ancient Dutch art, stolen by Ukrainian criminals with links to the Ukrainian political establishment, like the Italian mafia has to its political establishment, will return as well.

Colours in painting, video


This is a September 2016 video in Dutch, with English subtitles.

In it, Dutch artist Monica Rotgans discusses paint and other material used by visual artists.

According to Ms Rotgans, the colours in many old paintings have deteriorated through the ages, as, eg, paint decayed.

Eg, the painting The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh now looks grimy and dark; while, just after Van Gogh had painted it, there was much more light in it.

The cause, Ms Rotgans says, is Van Gogh’s use of Prussian blue paint, which makes paintings darker as it decays eventually.

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam attracts many visitors


This video says about itself:

Exhibition Munch : Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum

21 September 2015

Discover the parallels between two iconic artists: Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Admire the many masterpieces from all over the world, including ‘The scream’ by Munch and ‘Starry night over the Rhone‘ by Van Gogh in one spectacular exhibition.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Record year for Van Gogh Museum

Today, 10:44

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam last year attracted a record number of visitors. About 1.9 million people went to the museum. That’s an increase of 18 percent compared to last year, when more than 1.6 million people visited the museum.

The museum explains the record number of visitors by the opening of the new glass entrance and the exhibition Munch: Van Gogh.