Vincent Van Gogh
(1853 -1890) - The Netherlands
Rhythm and Movement
Rhythm and Movement
Vincent Van Gogh was passionate about his art. His paintings were noted for their color and expression. Van Gogh used thick, expressive brushstrokes to show movement or rhythm. Rhythm is a principle of design. It refers to a regular repetition of elements of art to create a feeling of movement.
Movement is the way a viewer’s eye moves through an artwork. Through the placement of objects, shapes, lines, and through technique an artist can affect the way a viewer’s eyes move through a painting.
Van Gogh experienced many difficulties during his life, such as poverty and mental illness. His life ended in tragedy, yet he produced some of the most admired masterpieces in the world.
Our artwork of the week is Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh and Starry Night were one of our artists and paintings of the week last year, too. Starry Night is a good example of how Van Gogh used brush strokes to create rhythm in his painting. The swirly sky and wavy cypress show movement.
YouTube video - Van Gogh Biography (3:35 min.)
Like music or a dance, rhythm in art has a flow of objects or elements that repeat similarly to the beat of music. The rhythm can be shown through brushstrokes as in many of Van Gogh's paintings.
Movement or rhythm is shown in this Van Gogh painting through line. The line creates a movement leading the viewer's eye into the room.
This print by Escher uses leaf shapes to create rhythm. The way they increase in size leads the viewer's eye toward the fish.
This painting by last year's Artist of the Week, Grant Wood, creates rhythm through the repetition of rolling hills.
The diagonal slant of these irises by Van Gogh create movement.
Rhythm is shown in this Duchamp painting by the changing forms.
Rhythm is created in this painting by Magritte through repeated shapes.
YouTube video - Principles of Art; Rhythm (2:40 min.)