1r ESO IES Ramon Llull. Departament de Dibuix. Curs 2011/2012 Vincent van Gogh Biography Starry night, Don Mc Lean (1972)Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work,notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art.After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died at the age of 37 from a gunshot wound,generally accepted to be self-inflicted.His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated byfewer still.Van Gogh loved art from an early age. He began to draw as a child, and he continued making drawingsthroughout the years leading to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties,completing many of his best-known works during his last two years. In just over a decade, he produced more than2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints.His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lives of flowers, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fieldsand sunflowers.Van Gogh spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers, traveling between The Hague, London andParis, after which he taught for a time in England. One of his early aspirations was to become a pastor and from1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium where he began to sketch people from the localcommunity. In 1885, he painted his first major work The Potato Eaters. His palette at the time consisted mainly ofsomber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work. In March 1886, hemoved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later he moved to the south of France and was takenby the strong sunlight he found there. His work grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highlyrecognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888.The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death.Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by theinactivity and incoherence brought about by his bouts of illness. According to art critic Robert Hughes, van Goghslate works show an artist at the height of his ability, completely in control and "longing for concision and grace". Don Mc Lean,Donald "Don" McLean (born October 2, 1945, New Rochelle, New York) is an American singer-songwriter. He ismost famous for the 1971 album American Pie, containing the renowned songs "American Pie" and "Vincent". ● "Vincent", a tribute to the 19th century Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh. Although it only reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, it proved to be a huge hit worldwide.It was a #1 hit single in the UK Singles Chart.
● McLeans magnum opus, "American Pie", is a sprawling, impressionistic ballad inspired partly by the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) in a plane crash on 3 February 1959. The song popularized the expression "The Day the Music Died" in reference to this event. WCFL DJ Bob Dearborn unraveled the lyrics and first published his interpretation on 7 January 1972, eight days before the song reached #1 nationally (see "Further reading" under American Pie). Numerous other interpretations, which together largely converged on Dearborns interpretation, quickly followed. McLean declined to say anything definitive about the lyrics until 1978. Since then McLean has stated that the lyrics are also somewhat autobiographical and present an abstract story of his life from the mid-1950s until the time he wrote the song in the late 1960s.● The song was recorded on 26 May 1971 and a month later received its first radio airplay on New York’s WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM to mark the closing of The Fillmore East, a famous New York concert hall. "American Pie" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard magazine charts for four weeks in 1972, and remains McLeans most successful single release. The single also topped the Billboard Easy Listening survey. With a running time of 8:36, it is also the longest song to reach No. 1. Some stations played only part one of the original split-sided single release.