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The Musée d’Orsay in Paris is presenting a new exhibition on Vincent Van Gogh, the artist renowned around the world for his bouts of madness and vivid brush strokes.
Portrait de l’artiste, 1889. ©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

The show focuses on the insight offered by French dramatist and poet Antonin Artaud, who in 1947 published “The Man Suicided by Society”, a key essay defending and paying tribute to Van Gogh.
Autoportrait, 1946. ©Collection Marcel Brient, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

Artaud raged against psychologists, like Dr. Paul Gachet, who tried to explain Van Gogh’s art through his struggle with mental illness. Artaud blamed modern society for Van Gogh’s suicide at the age of 37.
Le Docteur Gachet, 1890. ©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

The Van Gogh/Artaud exhibition brings together 40 paintings by the famous artist from international museums, and highlights the Musée d’Orsay’s own impressive Van Gogh collection.
©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

Some of Van Gogh’s most recognizable masterpieces, like his austere bedroom in Arles, are on display as part of the exhibition.
La Chambre de Van Gogh à Arles, 1889. ©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

However, the show also features many lesser known works, including a handful of drawings.
Quai avec homes déchargeant du sable, 1888. ©Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Institution, New York. Photo: Joseph Bamat

Artaud’s bursts of anger or praise punctuate the visit. In one room visitors view images of Van Gogh’s “Wheat Field with Crows” on a massive screen, while listening to an excerpt of Artaud’s analysis of the painting.
©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

Antonin wrote: “Beware of Van Gogh’s beautiful landscapes, swirling and peaceful, stormy and subdued...”
La nuit étoilée, 1888. ©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

“...[The art reflects] the undulation between his states of health.”
La nuit étoilée, 1888. ©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

The use of vibrant colours became increasingly prevalent in Van Gogh’s work. “Field with Poppies” was one of the last paintings he signed before taking his life in July 1890.
Champ avec des coquelicots, 1890. © Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the Hague.

Exhibition Curator Isabelle Cahn would like visitors to cast off their previous ideas about Van Gogh and forge new feelings and ideas about the artist.
©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

Van Gogh/Artaud: The Man Suicided by Society will be at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris from March 11 through July 6, 2014.
©Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: Joseph Bamat

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Van Gogh’s legacy gets new treatment in Paris
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