you have probably forgotten, but on the 16th of September, just at the beginning of the school year, I published a post on this blog about Vincent Van Gogh. Go back in time and refresh your memory:
In September, we focused on differences between American and British pronunciation. We also used Van Gogh’s paintings to learn how to use a new Google application that gave us the chance to zoom in and out famous museums and enjoy detailed views of masterpieces. In September, you also saw a trailer of a cartoon about Van Gogh’s life.
This term, as you are working with your art teacher on this figure, we revisited the post. We shared with you the whole story and you had to choose a page you particularly liked and describe what was happening in Van Gogh’s life in the page of your choice.
You have also been working with Nùria, your art teacher on a project. For Easter, you have an art assignment . ( a PDF with Van Gogh’s paintings and an activity card have been uploaded to the Art section of the blog)
Just a few weeks ago, a painting by Van Gogh revealed a hidden painting underneath. Do you remember? Click here to find out more
Now, I would like you to look at the lyrics of a song “Vincent” written by Don McLean as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. It is also known by its opening line, “Starry Starry Night“, a reference to Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night. The song also describes different paintings done by the artist. McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a book about the life of the artist.
As you can read in Wikepedia, the song clearly demonstrates an admiration for not only the work of Van Gogh, but also for the man himself. The song includes references to his landscape works, in lines such as “sketch the trees and the daffodils” and “morning fields of amber grain” – which describe the amber wheat that features in several paintings. There are also several lines that may allude to Van Gogh’s self-portraits: perhaps in “weathered faces lined in pain / are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand”, McLean is suggesting that Van Gogh may have found some sort of consolation in creating portraits of himself. There is, too, a single line describing Van Gogh’s most famous set of works, Sunflowers. “Flaming flowers that brightly blaze”
McLean pays tribute to Van Gogh by reflecting on his lack of recognition: “They would not listen / they did not know how / perhaps they’ll listen now.” There are also references to Van Gogh’s sanity and his suicide. Throughout his life, Van Gogh was plagued with mental disorders, particularly depression. He “suffered for [his] sanity” and eventually “took his life as lovers often do.”
Enjoy the music!
Are there any words you do not understand?