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In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh

Strap on virtual shoes and go for an immersive walk through the works of a master.

In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 111.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lively tour of Van Gogh's life and work I enjoyed the format of this course. Instead of an instructor behind a podium, each episode was on location at some town or area where Van Gogh lived during the period covered by the lecture. There was plenty of art to see--much of it works that are unfamiliar--and the lecturer was engaging and well informed (AND he knew how to pronounce French and Dutch words). Highly recommended!
Date published: 2024-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Course This was a series of short documentaries rather than lectures. Paintings were shown in detail and Jean-Pierre Isabouts was filmed in places where Vincent lived and worked. His relationships with other artists was covered, and 6. Paris Art Scene in the 1880’s and 13. The Art World in 1890 were particularly interesting. For me the hero was his brother Theo. I was aware he had helped his brother but not to the extent shown here. Isabouts diagnosis of Vincent’s mental problems as clinical depression and being bipolar were plausible as were the reasons he gave for his death. My only problem with the course was the slow delivery which was dealt with by upping the speed to 1.25. Other similar detailed courses on artists would be interesting e.g. Picasso.
Date published: 2024-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful guided tour I found this course to be exactly what I was looking for. The title said it all. The presenter started in the city where Van Gogh was born and then took us on a tour and lecture of not only where Vincent lived, but we were able to see what he saw and then painted. This was one of the most enjoyable courses because we were actually seeing where Vincent lived and painted. The letters between Vincent and Theo made their lives come alive and we could see the love but also the frustration between the two brothers. I thought this was one of the most well put together courses on art that I have viewed. So glad I decided to take this course.
Date published: 2024-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional I am overcome. What a wonderful course. Not only educational, but beautiful and moving on multiple levels.
Date published: 2023-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reflective survey of Vincent Van Gogh Jean-Pierre Isbouts continues his previous mezmering presentation style courses with a reflective survey of the life and paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. Professor Isbouts is a pleasure to learn from, as his natural flowing discussions are smooth, in-depth and relaxing. He accomplished his mission as this learner sought more research and understanding of Van Gogh's essence. I enjoyed the lecture set late in the evening which was perfect for reflection. Jean-Pierre's voice, inflections and total delivery of the course was wonderful. I have enjoyed close to 1100 TGC/Wondrium lecture sets, and Professor Isbouts course is in the very top tier. I look forward to his future courses. Absolutely worth the investment!
Date published: 2023-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly incomparable JPI takes a refreshing approach to describing the works of Vincent van Gogh, by tracing where the artist lived, and the people he interacted with, as he developed his craft. His presentation is deliberate, measured, and full of nuance. Being Dutch himself, he is eminently qualified to speak on this aspect of Vincent’s nature, but, moreover, his qualifications as a producer of art documentaries, all lend to the development of this excellent Course. Because each lecture revolves around a place and time, they are often only of 20-25 duration. This does not detract from their focused value. The images of locations, paintings, and maps contribute greatly to the overall experience. The only significant stupidity by the GC’s production team is to place the subtitles (closed captions) at the lower left part of the screen, just where the names of the places and the paintings are placed, thereby partially obscuring them. There is little doubt that the world would know a lot less about this great artist, were in not for the unwavering generosity of his brother, Theo, and the copious correspondence between them. Sadly, the improved knowledge of mental disease which was assisted by the work of Freud, Jung, and Adler, during the 1890s, was too late to be of help for Vincent’s tortured soul. Altogether one of TGC’s best art Courses.
Date published: 2023-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb Production Values The scholarship from Isbouts appears first class to me, I was enthralled throughout. Beyond that this course takes The Great Courses presentation to a new level. Endless displays of Van Gogh works but also great on camera presentations from all the places that influenced Van Gogh life
Date published: 2023-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent Artistry I have purchased and viewed over a dozen Great Courses, and have enjoyed all of them. Some have been historical (primarily the history of Britain), cultural (travel in Britain and in the Mediterranean), or scientific (astronomy). Fascinated by the idea of van Gogh, I decided to purchase this course, and I was immediately amazed and enthralled. The subject matter content is fascinating, and I gained a foundational knowledge of the artist and his work that allows me to appreciate more fully the paintings. Dr. Isbouts is a skilled interpreter and presenter of the life and work of van Gogh. His explanations and interpretations are insightful and thoughtful. Beyond that objective quality, the production of these lectures was stunningly beautiful. The video of the scenery of van Gogh's life and the background music enhanced the experience of seeing the world through Vincent's eyes. By beginning and ending with the death of the artist, Isbouts raised questions and then devoted hours to seeking answers to those questions; he succeeded in that task.The artistry of these videos is worthy of the artistry of van Gogh. My admiration for the paintings has been enhanced and I am grateful to Dr. Isbouts for sharing with us his love of this person and his art. As I noted earlier, I have viewed more than a dozen Great Courses. Several of those I considered reviewing, but have not yet risen to that task. This course compelled me to submit a review immediately. I was moved by the beauty I encountered.
Date published: 2023-09-28
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Overview

Discover the secrets behind the life and work of one of the most recognized, yet misunderstood, artists of the modern world, Vincent van Gogh. This 15-episode course by Professor Jean-Pierre Isbouts will take you on a fascinating journey as you unravel the mysteries of the artist's one-of-a-kind style. Along the way, you will gain fresh insight and a deepened appreciation for the undeniable genius behind a troubled but brilliant artist.

About

Jean-Pierre Isbouts

INSTITUTION

Fielding Graduate University

Jean-Pierre Isbouts is a historian, biblical scholar, and best-selling National Geographic author. After earning his DLitt at Leiden University, he served as a member of the doctoral faculty at Fielding Graduate University for more than 15 years and now holds the title of Faculty Emeritus. He gained worldwide renown with his National Geographic book The Biblical World and also wrote Archaeology of the Bible, In the Footsteps of Jesus, and Young Jesus. His course The History and Archaeology of the Bible is one of Wondrium’s most popular.

By This Professor

The History and Archaeology of the Bible
854
Searching for the Historical Jesus
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In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh
854
In the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh

Trailer

The World of Vincent van Gogh

01: The World of Vincent van Gogh

Begin by tying together several fascinating facts about Van Gogh’s life, which then propel you to ask questions that lead to the uncovering of mysteries: Which parts of his life influenced his unique work—now worth hundreds of millions on the art market—and what drove him to a desperate act in the end?

21 min
Early Years in Brabant

02: Early Years in Brabant

Take a journey through Vincent’s younger years as Jean-Pierre shares a personal connection and details the events that marked Van Gogh and shaped his career. From learning French and English to taking his very first art class, Brabant and its landscapes leaves an indelible mark on the young Vincent.

22 min
The Turn toward Art

03: The Turn toward Art

Discover how Van Gogh makes an abrupt turn in his life trajectory and moves from ministry and missionary work to a life in art, aided by two influential men in his family. You will also begin to understand how difficulties with his parents and scandals with women will affect him.

23 min
The Nuenen Period

04: The Nuenen Period

What is it about the modest Protestant community of Nuenen that spurs Van Gogh to hit his stride in painting, and why does he leave his extensive body of work behind when he moves? This lecture dives into how the perceived richness and nobility of simple peasant life inspired the artist.

25 min
Vincent in Antwerp

05: Vincent in Antwerp

In many ways, it is in Antwerp that Vincent begins the remarkable evolution that will ultimately make him one of the most important painters in modern art. Explore his journey at the Antwerp Academy, where he slowly sheds the darkness of Hague and begins to play with light and color.

18 min
The Paris Art Scene in the 1880s

06: The Paris Art Scene in the 1880s

Did you know how much the Impressionist movement in Paris depended on Vincent’s brother, Theo? Find out the truth behind Theo’s enormous influence in promoting and establishing the movement and bringing together the Impressionist artists of the day, with scenes from Jean-Pierre’s television drama Manet in Love.

24 min
Vincent and Theo in Paris

07: Vincent and Theo in Paris

What would you do if a difficult relative dropped in without warning and announced they would be living with you from now on? Learn how Theo manages the situation when Vincent arrives in Paris, and revel in the way that Vincent inhales the wonderful new movements of Montmartre.

22 min
Vincent and the Post-Impressionists

08: Vincent and the Post-Impressionists

By the 1880s, the Impressionists have slowly begun to drift apart after the deaths of Frédéric Bazille and Édouard Manet. Follow Vincent’s journey as he immerses himself in the artist life and absorbs all he can from the artists around him in friendship and work, such as Seurat, Bernard, Gauguin, and Toulouse-Lautrec.

24 min
The Spring of Provence

09: The Spring of Provence

Having exhausted all he could learn in Paris, Vincent travels to what he refers to as “his Japan,” or Arles, France—living in his famed “Yellow House.” It is here that he begins to move beyond Impressionism and matures into his own style. Although his Yellow House was destroyed in World War II, modern 3-D animation shows us what it looked like.

20 min
Vincent’s Classical Period

10: Vincent’s Classical Period

As he settles down in Arles and opens himself to the power of bold, primary colors to evoke emotion, Vincent begins to feel the need for the companionship he had in Paris. Which of his artist friends will eventually agree to move to Arles and live with him in his Yellow House?

20 min
The Studio of the South

11: The Studio of the South

Perhaps the most well-known fact about Vincent’s troubled life is that he cuts his ear. Dive into the horrifying story of what it is that inspires him to do something so drastic, and how the people around him respond to the crisis—culminating in the loss of his beloved Yellow House.

22 min
The Asylum at Saint-Rémy

12: The Asylum at Saint-Rémy

Confined to an asylum, Van Goh enters a dark period of illness—yet it is out of this place that he draws inspiration to create his best-known masterpiece, The Starry Night. Listen as Professor Isbouts describes his research on what diagnoses were likely behind Vincent’s “insanity.”

23 min
The Art World in 1890

13: The Art World in 1890

While Vincent is sequestered away at the asylum at Saint-Remy, the art world is moving on. Amazingly, Vincent is gaining growing recognition among art critics, with works shown at an annual exhibition in Brussels. But is Paris ready for him when he returns to meet Theo and Johanna’s newborn baby?

20 min
Vincent in Auvers-sur-Oise

14: Vincent in Auvers-sur-Oise

In this lovely village along the Oise River, Vincent creates what is arguably his most developed and integrated work, including two portraits of his friend, Paul Gachet. However, always brewing underneath is the guilt, torment, and loneliness that will eventually drive him to his final day.

24 min
An End and a Beginning

15: An End and a Beginning

There are several theories surrounding Vincent’s death, including one featuring a boy in a Buffalo Bill costume. In this episode, we experience Vincent’s last hours. We then follow the amazing arc that will lift Vincent from obscurity to the worldwide fame he enjoys today.

32 min