Sunday, June 17, 2007

How Thomas Nast influenced Vincent Van Gogh

Thomas Nast Cartoon 1876
"Thomas Nast (1840-1902) perhaps the most important American political cartoonist of all time, is best known for his invention and development of popular symbols like the Republican Elephant, Democratic Donkey, a fat, jolly Santa Claus and a lean, goatee-wearing Uncle Sam. Nast’s most important forum was Harper’s Weekly, the leading illustrated American periodical of the last half of the nineteenth century. HarpWeek has identified the 2200-plus cartoons that Nast drew for Harper’s Weekly—the first in 1859, the last in 1896, and the rest mainly between 1862 and 1886." quote from John Adler, publisher HarpWeek.
Apparently, Van Gogh collected newspaper illustrations and hoped to become an illustrator himself. 21 cartoons by Thomas Nast were in Van Gogh's collection. Albert I. Boime, Professor of Art History at UCLA, wrote an interesting essay on the possible connection between Nast's illustrations and Van Gogh's art.
Read Boime's essay here:
presented by HarpWeek

No comments: