THE ARTS – From the sketch to the sublime

Germán Ossa

Who would not have liked to have lived in the age that Vincent van Gogh did? That enigmatic and spectacular artist who reaches deep into the sensitive soul of those who love art? Rico reads his letters, that of his brother Theo. It is nice to see his work, the colorful, the black and the white all. Spectacular is to see all the films that have been made around his life and much better, to see this now coming to the screens, where we will see with great wisdom a collection of more than a hundred works, which is an intelligent collector. after he had died, he would buy to understand the mastery of this genius much better, leaving a deep trace of his existence with a handful of brushes, a dozen pencils and countless materials.

I come back to the words of the critic Diego Garzón, to motivate my readers to see this beautiful and surprising cinematographic work now in the cinemas of Colombia: "Perhaps the best way to summarize this very good documentary is the billboards of the land, is with a sentence from the narrator of the same, the Italian actress Valeria Bruni: "The most important thing is that Van Gogh has existed and that people like Helene have protected their heritage." She refers to Helene Kroller-Muller, the German collector who began to buy her drawings and paintings 19 years after the death of the artist to become her most important admirer and collector, her passion and interest not only for Van Gogh's work, but also for her life – the letters from Van Gogh to her brother Theo reveal everything she thought, felt and above all, what tormented her – led her to fulfill her greatest dream: to build a museum with all the works that he took from it pick up. A museum that opened its doors to the public in 1938 in Otterlo, a year before the death of Helene, as if after it had been reached enough to leave the world. His coffin was surrounded by his favorite works.

This work, which is worth seeing, focuses not only on the life of genius, but also on the importance that a woman has now allowed the public to know much about the legacy of the artist. It is almost a slogan to say that once a writer has finished a book, it is no longer his, it is all readers; as happens with an artist who completes his work, from there it is no longer his. But what would have happened to Van Gogh's works if no collector was interested to keep them so that the public can see them today? The work of a collector is very valuable. Museums, the traditional institution and museums do not always have the means to acquire and retain works of art. Private collections, conscious or unconscious, become the memory of creativity. Today, in Colombia, buyers approach the work of contemporary artists and, for fun, also buy them to preserve part of their history. Helen Koller-Muller fortunately has for a large part preserved the history of this great teacher.

In addition to showing the passion of the collector for the painter, especially in the first part of the documentary, the viewer makes a visual tour of the works of the collection while he prepares a large exhibition for the Vicenza basilica. It is the axis that the narrator must take us by the multiple houses that served as inspiration, often in search of the fields, humility and poverty. I hated the nudes and even more the old tradition of the academy of painting models. "I prefer a model dressed in the field," he said in one of his letters. Today the documentary goes to art historians and the director of the museum, to tell anecdotal, didactic, why Van Gogh painted how he painted: how his stay in Paris, for example, changed the color to more vivid colors of those he used at the end of 1870 , or how he decided at one point to return to northern France to look for what he & # 39; his artistic roots & # 39; called.

From the sketch, those light and simple strokes, those sublime pieces that their fans have repeatedly copied from year to year, those others, who fight collectors to own and who many of us have learned from the outside and who will not be able to steal anyone while we live.

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