At Eternity's Gate: The Spiritual Vision of Vincent van Gogh

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9780802849786: At Eternity's Gate: The Spiritual Vision of Vincent van Gogh

Most scholars have argued that van Gogh was insane and that his religious life was a product of this madness - and was something he happily abandoned when he left the Christian ministry to pursue a career as an artist. This biography by Kathleen Powers Erickson is the first to demonstrate the falsehood of such assumptions and to argue that van Gogh's spiritual life was essential to the unfolding of his unique artistic vision. Basing her study on solid biographical evidence, van Gogh's personal correspondence, and informed insight into the painter's artistic imagery, Erickson clearly traces van Gogh's pilgrimage of faith, from his early religious training, through his evangelical missionary period, to his struggle with religion and modern thought, and finally to the synthesis of traditional Christian beliefs with the modern world-view that he achieved in both his life and his art. Unique to this study is Erickson's in-depth examination of van Gogh's mental illness, culminating in her convincing argument that van Gogh's "insanity," long assumed - indeed mythologically contrived - to be schizophrenia, was in fact a psychological disorder resulting from a form of epilepsy. Erickson shows that this famous facet of van Gogh's life, too, was not without a spiritual dimension. In addition, the volume includes five black-and-white pictures of van Gogh and members of his family and a collection of nineteen black-and-white illustrations that reproduce important pieces of van Gogh's artwork.

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Review:

Few images in modern art have so captured the attention of the public as Van Gogh's Starry Night, a painting that reveals all the light and glory hidden in an ordinary evening sky. In this very readable study of Van Gogh, essentially a spiritual biography, Kathleen Erickson explores the intense spirituality of the painter, from his early religious training and evangelical missionary work to the crisis that occurred when the church rejected his more radical way of following Christ. Erickson argues (against many Van Gogh scholars) that the artist's mature work reflects not a rejection of Christ so much as a rejection of a dogmatic church, seeing instead in the famous images of his art a profound connection to Christian symbols. Throughout, she helps us to discover the source of the power in Van Gogh's stars and sunflowers. --Doug Thorpe

From Publishers Weekly:

Erickson's account of the spiritual dimensions of van Gogh's work is an important corrective to two widespread assumptions: first, that his background was theologically Calvinist; second, that he abandoned religion when he began his professional career as an artist. Drawing extensively on van Gogh's correspondence, Erickson argues convincingly that the so-called Groningen school?more Arminian than Calvinist?was the foundation for van Gogh's religious outlook and that his abandonment of institutional Christianity (precipitated by disillusionment with his uncle and theological mentor, Johannes Paulus Stricker) was not so much an abandonment of religion as a move to synthesize Christianity and modernity via mysticism. Her discussion of van Gogh's late work is particularly compelling in this regard. Erickson's diagnostic discussion of van Gogh's mental illness is intriguing, though such extended discussion of whether he was epileptic, bipolar, schizophrenic or a combination is more of a distraction than a contribution to artistic or religious appreciation of his work. This work is a lucid and accessible contribution to understanding the religious character of van Gogh's artistic vision.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Erickson, Mrs. Kathleen Powers
Editorial: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
ISBN 10: 0802849784 ISBN 13: 9780802849786
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Descripción Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0802849784 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.1304959

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Erickson, Mrs. Kathleen Powers
Editorial: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1998)
ISBN 10: 0802849784 ISBN 13: 9780802849786
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Descripción Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110802849784

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Mrs. Kathleen Powers Erickson
Editorial: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1998)
ISBN 10: 0802849784 ISBN 13: 9780802849786
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Descripción Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0802849784

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