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Van Gogh's Olive Trees

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Vincent van Gogh is one of the most mythologised figures in art history. The Dutch Post-Impressionist is usually recalled as a madman, with his bandaged ear, painting in a tortured frenzy.

Art historian and Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery, Frances Fowle considers the brilliant and varied artist behind the myth. Van Gogh's many depictions of olive trees demonstrate the surprisingly studious approach which went into his expressive brushwork, and his thoughtful interest in Impressionist colour theory. Spiritually charged but diligently sketched from life, Fowle sees Van Gogh's olive grove paintings as a 'pure vision of the landscape'.

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Dr Frances Fowle is a Reader in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art at the National Galleries of Scotland. She is also senior Trustee of the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, and an executive Board member of the International Art Market Studies Association (TIAMSA). Frances is aspecialist in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with an emphasis on national revival, artistic networks, collecting and the art market.

She is the author of Van Gogh's Twin: the Scottish Art Dealer Alexander Reid 1854-1928 (2010) and she has curated and contributed to numerous international exhibitions, notably 'Degas and America: the Early Collectors' (Atlanta, Minneapolis 2001); 'Sisley: Poet of Impressionism' (Ferrara, Madrid, Lyon 2002); 'Gauguin's Vision' (Edinburgh, 2005); 'Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors' (Edinburgh and Compton Verney 2006); 'Impressionism and Scotland' (2008); 'Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910' (Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Helsinki, 2012), 'American Impressionism: a New Vision 1880-1900' (Giverny, Edinburgh, Madrid, 2014) and 'Inspiring Impressionism: Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh' (Cincinnati, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, 2016).

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