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Description - Popular Art and the Avant-Garde: Vincent van Gogh's Collection of Newspaper and Magazine Prints by Vincent Alessi

When Vincent van Gogh picked up his pencil and set out on his artistic career, it was not with the intention of becoming a leader of the avant-garde art world. Rather, his aims centred on earning a reasonable wage and living within the middle-class norms of his family. Van Gogh's hope was to become an illustrator of magazines and newspapers.
From 1880 to 1885 van Gogh assembled a collection of more than 2,000 black-and-white prints, predominantly from English publications such as The Graphic and The Illustrated London News. These prints were produced in the thousands to accompany news stories or as stand-alone illustrations to be pinned up in the family home.
Vincent Alessi reveals for the first time how van Gogh's collection acted for him as both inspiration and manual: a guide to the subject matter demanded by leading illustrated newspapers and magazines and a model of artistic style.
These popular images are shown to have palpably shaped van Gogh's art throughout his career, and open up rich new understandings of a life and body of work that continue to intrigue and inspire.

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