Discuss van Gogh's complex relationship with his family, particularly his brother Theo. To what extent did Vincent distance himself from his family and/or embrace his heritage?To what extent did van Gogh's nationality influence his life, his art, and his outsider status? Is his nationality crucial to his artistic development? Does it matter that he wasn't French like the rest of his avant-garde colleagues? Discuss van Gogh's obsession with portrait painting in light of his life and his personality. Why did the portrait fascinate him so, especially towards the end of his life? What did he mean when he said he wanted his portraits to be like "apparitions"? Discuss the development of the landscape in van Gogh's art, from his early work in The Netherlands through his transcendent final double-square landscapes from Auvers? Does van Gogh ever really achieve abstraction with his landscapes?
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