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Van Gogh’s Cypresses


Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter from the nineteenth century who popularized certain artistic styles and techniques, such as pointillism and impressionism. Pointillism is when you use a variety of dots and patterns to create artistic pieces, while impressionism is a style in which you use small brush strokes to make up different pictures without using black outlining lines to highlight naturalism. It was also created in the nineteenth century, being mainly used in France, because it was meant to draw away from past art styles used in France and to highlight something that was more modern. 


Van Gogh lived in an asylum, and he created his popular art pieces there, such as ‘Starry Night’ and ‘Garden of the Asylum’. In one of his paintings, he cut off his ear and bandaged it to a canvas. He struggled with multiple issues regarding his mental health and decided to enroll himself into the Saint-Paul asylum in France in the year of 1889. Because he was enrolled over a century ago, the medical field wasn’t as helpful as it is now and he was treated with ‘therapy’ sessions that showed little to no impact over his conditions. He stayed there for about a year, making around one hundred fifty paintings. 


Some of those paintings are a part of his cypress collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City. The cypress collection has his works from 1853 to 1890, and tickets weren’t required to visit the exhibition. The exhibition opened to the public on May 22 and ended on August 27. Tickets purchased for the MET museum were specifically required for entry into the exhibit. The MET museum also released a catalogue full of Van Gogh’s cypresses from the exhibit. It also includes people’s opinions on his works, and some of his life history. The museum also released a Van Gogh Irises tea set, an Irises vase, a sunflower vase, two versions of a Van Gogh themed calendar and two teapots. However the prices of these items were on the expensive side, and the average of each of the items is around fifty dollars. 


I went to this exhibit with two of my cousins, and we got to pick how much we paid for the tickets into the MET museum because we were all students residing next to the state of New York. I had to give my full name and zip code to get inside the museum though. My cousins and I decided to each pay one dollar per ticket, because we didn’t know what to do when we were asked how much we wanted to pay for each ticket. I think we went to the exhibit just before we left, and it was pretty crowded compared to the rest of the museum. Many people were trying to get pictures of the ‘Starry Night’ painting, but I managed to take one with my cousin’s help. 


It was really surreal and inspiring seeing the paintings in real life. The paintings had more detail in person than what you can see if you look them up on some website browser. It’s interesting to think that Van Gogh’s paintbrushes were on the painting more than a hundred years ago. 


But my cousins and I couldn’t read any of the information next to each of the paintings because the exhibit was very crowded. But I liked the crowd because it shows how much people appreciate Vincent Van Gogh and art in general, even though so much time has passed since his death. It shows how much of an impact Vincent Van Gogh has on art today. 


Hopefully you too can appreciate Vincent Van Gogh more after reading this article, and can even go to any upcoming exhibits the MET museum has to offer. 


Works Cited

“Hospitalization.” Van Gogh Museum, Accessed 20 August 2023.

“Van Gogh’s Cypresses.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accessed 20 August 2023.

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