Vincent van Gogh

Christianity versus nature

HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027253330 (Eur) | EUR 185.00
ISBN 9781556190766 (USA) | USD 278.00
This book analyzes the deeper meaning of recurring themes in van Gogh’s œuvre, such as the sower, the sun and the sunflower, against the religious background of his time. It traces the conflict between Christianity and nature that underlies the process of substitution of natural for Christian symbols which we find in van Gogh’s œuvre. The author has made a careful inventory of the principal motifs in van Gogh’s œuvre and studied the ways in which these have been combined and manipulated. By this method it can be demonstrated, not only that initially van Gogh uses explicitly Christian motifs such as the church spire, but also that their function is later taken over by motifs from nature like the sun and the starry night. Kōdera discusses the meaning of these symbols and quotes extensively from contemporary material and from van Gogh’s letters to show how this process of naturalization was influenced by specific artistic sources such as French Naturalist novels and Japanese prints.
[OCULI: Studies in the Arts of the Low Countries, 3]  1990.  xii, 283 pp. 120 bl./wh.ills.,8 color il
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Foreword
ix
Abbreviations
xi
Introduction
1
1. Dominocratie: Van Gogh and the theologians’ culture in nineteenth-century Holland
13
2. The Church versus the sun: substitution of motifs
27
3. Light in the darkness: survival of a Christian concept
41
4. Japan as primitivistic utopia: Van Gogh’s japonist portraits
51
5. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”: diggers in the oeuvre of Van Gogh
67
6. Christianity versus nature: Emile Zola’s La faute de l’abbé Mouret
79
7. Conclusion: triumph and defeat of nature
93
Notes
99
Appendix I: Chronological tables
133
Appendix II: Zionskapel in the Barndesteeg: Van Gogh as a Sunday school teacher
157
Selected bibliography
159
List of illustrations
173
Illustrations
181
Photographic acknowledgments
273
Index
275
Subjects
BIC Subject: AC – History of art / art & design styles
BISAC Subject: ART015000 – ART / History / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  89018335