Van Gogh and His Story: Digging a Little Deeper

Starry Night Over the Rhone
Starry Night Over the Rhone- Vincent Van Gogh
(Our family recently saw this in person in San Francisco.)

I recently received an advanced copy of the book, Vincent Van Gogh and The Colors of The Wind by Chiara Lossani. I wrote a review as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program which said:

“Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters and I was anxious to see how his story would be told in this book. His story is a sad story and I think this book does a pretty good job at giving younger readers a sense of the tragedy of Van Gogh’s illness and his short life. I like that there are real pieces of his artwork interspersed through the book but I do wish they were a little larger. I really enjoy the way the author has given a tender picture of the relationship that Vincent has with Theo too and I think readers can feel the heaviness that lies between them as the pages turn in this book. When you see a bright colorful Van Gogh painting you can appreciate the man more after reading this book. Definitely one that will stay on my personal library shelf.”

Van Gogh copy
Summer 2010 Van Gogh Study  – art copywork with oils and oil pastels

“But this is to be aimed at for the young people; let them study occasionally the works of a single great master until they have received some of his teaching, and know his style.”
Charlotte Mason volume 5, page 235

We have studied Van Gogh several times over the years but after reading this book we decided to dig a little deeper into knowing the man behind the colorful paintings. We did some extra research and found that YouTube had several well done slideshows that helped us feel the emotion of his life which shines through his paints and canvas.This one helped us tremendously to put his life into perspective by using Van Gogh’s own quotes with the images and is well worth the time to view.


Van Gogh Postcards
Summer 2010 Study – We use postcards or small 4′ by 6″ prints to study the works of one artist.

“When children have begun regular lessons (that is, as soon as they are six), this sort of study of pictures should not be left to chance, but they should take one artist after another, term by term, and study quietly some half-dozen reproductions of his work in the course of the term.”
Charlotte Mason volume 1, page 308-309


Bedroom in Arles Van Gogh
Bedroom in Arles – Vincent Van Gogh
Another powerful painting that we saw in real life this past December.

“We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1, page 309 (original series)


van gogh bed
Use a variety of mediums to fit the particular artist’s style. If you don’t want to use oil paints, you can try oil pastels.


Van Gogh Reproduction - Villiage Auvers
Current Van Gogh copywork with acrylics

“Art appreciation is regarded with a lot of respect, but teachers tend to be intimidated about how to teach it.”
Charlotte Mason, volume six, page 213

One last video for you to watch. It makes me teary every time I hear the words and view the images. It is a powerful way to bring Van Gogh’s story to closure. I hope that you can take a few minutes to view this one to get another perspective on this famous artist. Perhaps this is just the last step for my high school age sons to take in their picture study lessons. They learned the paintings, the style, and now the man. I will never look at a Van Gogh the same way after digging deeper.

Starry, Starry Night (slideshow and music)

Van Gogh and Handel Cover Button

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