Painted emotions

Painted emotions

Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Garden of the Asylum
Date December 1889
Location Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
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Art and designLower Secondary Education (GCSE)

This lesson contains 13 slides, with text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 20 min

Introduction

Vincent van Gogh's works can stir up many different emotions. In this lesson, students will learn independently about the connection between Van Gogh's work and the emotions that it arouses.

Instructions

General learning objectives
- Students will learn about Vincent van Gogh and his work.
- Students will draw connections between various emotions and works by Van Gogh.
- Students will compare their ideas about a few paintings with Vincent's own ideas.

Materials required
- Computer, tablet or smartphone for working on the lesson and searching for images

Optional variations
- A painting or assignment can be left out to save time.

Items in this lesson

Painted emotions

Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Garden of the Asylum
Date December 1889
Location Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Slide 1 - Slide

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Vincent van Gogh's works can stir up many different emotions. One may make people happy, and another may give them a calm feeling.
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Wheatfield under Thunderclouds
Date July 1890
Location Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Slide 2 - Slide

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Vincent himself had different feelings about different works. He wrote about this to his brother Theo.

Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette
Date January - February 1886
Location Antwerp
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Question
Have you ever felt a particular emotion when you saw a painting?

Slide 3 - Slide

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And when you see Vincent's painting Sunflowers, do you have a certain feeling or emotion?



Assignment
The next three slides contain paintings and hotspots with the names of different emotions or feelings. For each painting, pick the feeling that fits best, and give reasons for your choice.
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Sunflowers
Date January 1889
Location Arles, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Slide 4 - Slide

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Cheerful
Angry
Sad
Scared
Surprised
Irritated
Peaceful
Safe
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title The Bedroom
Date October 1889
Location Arles, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Proud

Slide 5 - Slide

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Lonely
Angry
Sad
Stable
Surprised
Panicky
Calm
Safe
Exhausted
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Garden of the Asylum
Date December 1889
Location Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Slide 6 - Slide

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Lonely
Happy
Sorrowful
Frightened
Excited
Jealous
Calm
Gloomy
Vulnerable
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Title Wheatfield under Thunderclouds
Date July 1890
Location Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

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Vincent wrote down what he intended each of these three paintings to express. The next few slides show you what that was.

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Vincent wrote about his choice of colours, ‘I had wished to express utter repose with all these very different tones’.
This painting shows Vincent's bedroom in the Yellow House in Arles (in southern France). He had furnished the room himself, with simple furniture and his own art works on the wall.

Slide 9 - Slide

Letter 705
Vincent wrote that the colour combination in this work 'gives rise a little to the feeling of anxiety from which some of my companions in misfortune often suffer, and which is called "seeing red"'.
This is the garden of the mental hospital in Saint-Rémy, Vincent stayed there voluntarily for treatment for a year.

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'They’re immense stretches of wheatfields under turbulent skies, and I made a point of trying to express sadness, extreme loneliness.'
In the final weeks of his life, Vincent made a number of impressive paintings of the wheatfields around Auvers, near Paris. This is one of them.

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Question
So, did you connect these paintings to the same emotions as Vincent, or to different ones?

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Assignment
Find an art work by Vincent van Gogh that gives you a good feeling.
Tip: If you don't know where to look, try the website of the Van Gogh Museum.

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