Why did John Peter Russell not buy Van Gogh’s paintings?

      24-07-2022     Comments (0)

Australian impressionistic painter John Peter Russell (16 juni 1858 - 22 april 1930) inherited his father's fortune and would be able to buy Vincent's art. Van Gogh and Russell met in Paris and became friends. In 1886 Russell painted Van Gogh’s portrait that may show best what Van Gogh really looked like of all existing (self-)portraits. Did Russel not buy Van Gogh’s paintings as he didn’t sell many of his own paintings either? Vincent asked his brother Theo, director of an art dealer's branch in Paris, to check if Russel was interested. Today 134 years ago, on 24 July 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I’d very much like it if Russell were to do something — however, he has a wife, children, a studio, a house under construction, and I can very well imagine that...

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Who inspired Van Gogh to paint Cart with red and white ox?

      20-07-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh hardly ever painted animals as main subject of his paintings. His 'Cart with red and white ox' was probably inspired on Anton Mauve’s 'Carter on a Country Road’. Anton Mauve was his painting teacher in The Hague. When Mauve died in 1888 Van Gogh painted 'Pink peach Trees' as an homage to his cousin and former teacher Mauve. Today 138 years ago, on 20 July 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Nuenen: "I’m again looking forward very much to your arrival and to finding out what you’ll think of the work that I’ve done since. The last things I did are a couple of rather large studies of ox-carts, a black ox and a red and white one.” Cart with red and white ox Nuenen, 1884 Oil on canvas on panel 56,7 x 82,5 cm...

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How many letters did Van Gogh receive from his brother?

      18-07-2022     Comments (0)

39 letters from Theo van Gogh to Vincent survived, but Theo must have written many more letters to his brother. Vincent lost many of them. Theo kept every scratch from Vincent though, leading to 663 surviving letters from Vincent to Theo. In total 903 letters from or to Vincent survived. Thanks to these letters we have a good idea what Vincent felt, how he lived, and how his painting style developed. Vincent also wrote to his sister, his parents, and to fellow artists. Today 134 years ago, between 17 and 20 July 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "My dear Theo. Many thanks for your letter, which gave me great pleasure, coming just at the moment when I was still dazed by the sun and the strain of handling a rather large canvas. I have a new drawing of a garden full of flowers; I also have two painted...

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Was Van Gogh excited to become an uncle?

      15-07-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was going through tough times after his ear accident. He moved from Arles to the asylum in Saint-Rémy. Instead of organizing his Studio of the South for fellow artists he was now locked up with other patients with mental problems. Van Gogh was very excited about the news of him becoming an uncle though. Theo’s wife Jo was pregnant! Vincent didn’t have much else to do than to paint, which served as perfect distraction for his excitement. And he painted many of his now famous masterpieces. Was he able to put a little extra love into his paintings with a nephew or niece to be born? "Anyway, there’s enough to bring back the taste for life a little when I think that I myself am going to be promoted uncle of this boy planned by your wife." Today 133 years ago, on 15 July 1889,...

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How many bird’s nests did Van Gogh paint?

      14-07-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted 5 bird’s nests after each other, obsessed by their colorful beauty. Vincent’s fascination for bird’s nests went so far that he started seeing peasant’s cottages as bird's nests. "I now really must go bird’s nesting with a number of variations of these ‘people’s nests’, which remind me so much of the nests of wrens — that’s to say, paint them." Today 137 years ago, on or about 14 July 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "I’ve never seen the little house where Millet lived — but I imagine that these 4 little human nests are of the same kind. One of them is the residence of a gentleman who’s popularly known here as ‘the peasant of Rauwveld’." Cottage with a man coming home...

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Did Van Gogh feel lonely in a crowd?

      09-07-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh visited his brother Theo and his wife Jo in Paris on 6 July 1890. He also met art critic Aurier there who had just written a very positive article on Van Gogh’s paintings. Toulouse-Lautrec joined for lunch and the French impressionist Armand Guillaumin was coming to meet Vincent. But it was too much for him. Wasn’t Van Gogh able to connect with the people that surrounded him? Was Vincent in fear not to be accepted? It was in this state of emotional isolation that he went back to Auvers-sûr-Oise and painted Wheatfield under thunderclouds, expressing extreme loneliness. Today 132 years ago, on about 9 July 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo and Jo from Auvers-sur-Oise: "There – once back here I set to work again – the brush however almost falling from my hands and –...

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Who owns Van Gogh’s Red Vineyard?

      08-07-2022     Comments (0)

The Red Vineyard may be the only painting Vincent van Gogh ever sold. Anna Boch bought it in 1890 for 400 francs. In 1909 it was sold to Ivan Morozov, a Russian businessman and member of the rich Morozv dynasty. Morozov's art collection was nationalized after the Bolshevik Revolution and a part of it went to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow where the The Red Vineyard still resides. Today 133 years ago, between 8 July and 12 July 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his mother from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "But what are beautiful in the south are the vineyards, where they’re on the flat land or the hillsides. I’ve seen it, and come to that sent Theo a painting of it, where a vineyard is all purple, crimson and yellow and green and violet like the Virginia creeper in Holland. I like to see a vineyard as much...

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How often are new Van Gogh paintings discovered?

      05-07-2022     Comments (0)

New Van Gogh paintings are not discovered often. In 2013 Sunset at Montmajour was authenticated as a genuine Van Gogh. This was the first time since 1928 that a full size Van Gogh painting was discovered. And it wasn’t actually a discovery. The painting had been dismissed a a real Van Gogh in the 1990s. Today 134 years ago, on 5 July 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "Yesterday, at sunset, I was on a stony heath where very small, twisted oaks grow, in the background a ruin on the hill, and wheatfields in the valley. It was romantic, it couldn’t be more so, à la Monticelli, the sun was pouring its very yellow rays over the bushes and the ground, absolutely a shower of gold.” Sunset at Montmajour Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 73,3 cm × 93,3 cm Private collection You...

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How long did it take Van Gogh to paint Harvest at la Crau?

      29-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was very satisfied with his painting of the Harvest at La Crau near Arles. He painted it in one day, except for some adjusting and perfecting afterwards, back in The yellow House. Van Gogh was well prepared to get it done in one go as he made two studies of it with pen and watercolor first. Today 124 years ago, on or about 29 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "It’s like that with the one of which I sent you the drawing, the harvest and the wheat stacks too — it’s true I have to retouch everything to adjust the workmanship a little, to harmonize the brushstrokes, but all the essential work was done in a single long session, and I’ll spare it as much as possible when I go back to it.” One of the drawings that Vincent sent was: The Harvest Arles,...

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Did Van Gogh feel he was part of history?

      28-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was aware of his contribution to art in general. Paintings were necessary to help art history go forward, whether created by himself or by other artists. Not only by discussing art with his fellow artists but also by copying art in his own style Van Gogh would help future artists to stand on his shoulders in their turn. Today 134 years ago, on 27 June 1888, Today 134 years ago, on 28 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "Yesterday and today I worked on the sower, which has been completely reworked. The sky is yellow and green, the earth purple and orange. There’s definitely a painting like that to be made of this splendid subject, and I hope it will be done one day, either by someone else or by me.” Sower with setting sun Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 64,2 x cm...

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Was Van Gogh worn out himself?

      27-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s famous drawing (1882) and painting (1890) ' At Eternity's Gate ' also called ' Worn Out ' depicting a sorrowful figure struggling through life resonated with Vincent during his life. His money problems and mental problems exhausted him, but also the sun in the South of France could tire him so much that he wasn't able to tell the quality of his paintings anymore. Today 134 years ago, on 27 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Emile Bernard from Arles: "The thing is, it’s tiring, the sun down here. I’m also utterly incapable of judging my own work. I can’t see whether the studies are good or bad. I have seven studies of wheatfields, unfortunately all of them nothing but landscapes, much against my will.” Wheatfield with sheaves Arles, 1888...

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Did Van Gogh send paintings to his sister?

      20-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh promised to send the study Sprig of almond blossom in a glass with a book for Willemien’s birthday. She also once owned the painting: Orchard bordered by cypresses. Today 134 years ago, on or about 20 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister Willemien from Arles: "A long time ago I meant you to have a painted study, and you shall get it. I’m afraid that by post, even if I pay the postage, they’ll make you pay excess postage, like the flowers from Menton, and this is even bigger — but Theo will certainly send you one, if I don’t think about it, ask him for it.” Orchard bordered by cypresses Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 32 x 40 cm Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven Promised gift of William L. Bernhard, B.A. 1954, and Catherine G. Cahill You may also...

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Was Van Gogh easily distracted?

      17-06-2022     Comments (0)

Like most people who changed the world in their field Vincent van Gogh was hyper-focussed. Not only did he make about 900 paintings, 1100 drawings and write 1000 letters in 10 years time. His thoughts were always about art. All day and every day. Within his focus on painting Van Gogh could easily be distracted. It made him a multitasker who could be working on a painting and a drawing at the same time, whilst writing a letter. Today 134 years ago, on 17 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to John Peter Russell from Arles: "Well, instead of continuing the letter I began to draw on the very paper the head of a dirty little girl I saw this afternoon whilst I was painting a view of the river with a greenish yellow sky.” The view of the river he refers to is the painting: The Trinquetaille bridge Arles, 1888 Oil...

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What is the most expensive Van Gogh water color?

      16-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s water color Wheat Stacks was sold at Christie’s in New York in 2021 for a record of 35,85 million USD. Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr Gachet is the most expensive Van Gogh oil painting ever sold at auction for 83 million USD in 1990. Today 134 years ago, on 16 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I’ve sent you 3 drawings by post today. The one with the wheat stacks in a farmyard will seem too bizarre to you, but it was done in great haste as a project for a painting, and it’s to show you what it’s like.” The drawing Wheat Stacks served as a study for the painting: Wheat Stacks Arles, 1888 Pen, watercolour 50 x 62 cm Private collection You may also like to read: Who bought Van Gogh's Portait of Dr Gachet? Van...

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Did Van Gogh visit his brother in Paris?

      10-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh visited Theo and Jo in Paris once when he lived in Auvers-sûr-Oise; on 6 July 1890. This was not the first time he visited them. Vincent stopped by for a few days when he moved from the South of France to Auvers. This was the first time he met Theo’s wife Jo and his nephew Vincent Willem. From 1886 to 1888 Vincent lived with his brother Theo in Montmartre in Paris, where Theo was an art dealer. Van Gogh's search for warm light and bright colors made him travel to Arles after that. Today 132 years ago, on 10 June 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo and his wife Jo from Auvers-sur-Oise: "Dear brother and sister, Sunday has left me a very pleasant memory. In this way we really feel that we’re not so far from one another, and I hope that we’ll see each other again...

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Which paintings did Van Gogh paint from his bedroom?

      09-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night inspired on the view from his bedroom in the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Several other paintings were also based on his bedroom view, like Mountain Landscape behind the Saint-Paul Hospital. Vincent’s bedroom, of which he made 3 versions, was not his bedroom in Saint-Rémy, but in the Yellow House in Arles where he lived before he moved to the asylum. Today 133 years ago, on 9 June 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "One is the countryside that I glimpse from the window of my bedroom. In the foreground a field of wheat, ravaged and knocked to the ground after a storm. A boundary wall and beyond, grey foliage of a few olive trees, huts and hills. Finally, at the top of the painting a large white and grey cloud...

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Why was Van Gogh in hospital in The Hague in 1882?

      08-06-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was suffering from ‘a dose of the clap’ or Gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease. He stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks. Symptoms as described by van Gogh were 'sleeplessness and chronic fever, and pain on passing water.’ Van Gogh wasn’t too worried about it but realized it should not be neglected. Today 140 years ago, on 8 June 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "I resisted as long as I could and carried on working, but in the end I realized I needed to see a doctor urgently. But he told me just this morning that I would soon be rid of it. Did you get the two little drawings?” Fish-drying barn The Hague, 1882 Pen, pencil, heightened with white 28,5 x 45 cm Private collection You may also like to read: How long did Van Gogh stay in...

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How many paintings did Van Gogh make in Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer?

      04-06-2022     Comments (0)

Although Vincent van Gogh spent just 5 days in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer he made six oil paintings one watercolor and nine drawings. Van Gogh left Arles by stagecoach to travel to the little town on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to recover there from his health. Painting would help him to feel fit again. Today 134 years ago, on 4 June 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: "I’ve brought three canvases and I’ve covered them — two seascapes — a view of the village — and some drawings which I’ll send you by post when I get back to Arles tomorrow.” A view of the village is: View of Saintes-Maries Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 1888 Oil on canvas 64,2 x cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands You may also like...

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Which plant is in Van Gogh’s portrait of Dr Gachet?

      03-06-2022     Comments (0)

The yellow flower in Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of Dr Gachet is Foxglove. Van Gogh may have been treated for epilepsy with an extract of foxglove, called digitalis. These days we know digitalis doesn’t treat epilepsy, but it does have positive effects on certain heart conditions. Today 132 years ago, on 3 June 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Auvers-sur-Oise: "I’m working on his portrait. The head with a white cap, very fair, very light, the hands also in light carnation, a blue frock coat and a cobalt blue background, leaning on a red table on which are a yellow book and a foxglove plant with purple flowers.” Doctor Gachet Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890 Oil on canvas 66 x 57 cm Private collection You may also like to read: How many times has the Portrait of Dr. Gachet been...

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What is the meaning of Van Gogh’s colors?

      31-05-2022     Comments (0)

The best way to understand Vincent van Gogh is probably by reading his letters. After all that’s where he wrote extensively how he felt. Unless he didn’t always write how he actually felt. Van Gogh seems very honest when he wrote to his sister Willemien: ‘We need good cheer and happiness, hope and love. The uglier, older, meaner, iller, poorer I get, the more I wish to take my revenge by doing brilliant colour, well arranged, resplendent’. Was Van Gogh not sincere half a year later when he wrote to his brother from the asylum showing a paining with bright colors? Or had the meaning of Van Gogh’s colors changed? Today 133 years ago, between 31 May and 6 June 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "When you receive the canvases I’ve done in the...

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