Who inspired Van Gogh to paint cows?

      18-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted ‘Cows’ in 1890 based on a 1873 Paul van Ryssel etching that Gachet owned of Jacob Jordaens's 'Study of Five Cows’. 1,5 years before Van Gogh saw the 1648 painting 'Cows in the pasture’ by Paulus Potter in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. Today 133 years ago, on 17 or 18 December 1888, Vincent van Gogh to Theo from Arles: "My dear Theo, Yesterday Gauguin and I went to Montpellier to see the museum there, and especially the Bruyas room — there are many portraits of Bruyas, by Delacroix, by Ricard, by Courbet, by Cabanel, by Couture, by Verdier, by Tassaert, by others too. After that there are paintings by Delacroix, Courbet, Giotto, Paul Potter, Botticelli, T. Rousseau, very fine.” Cows Auvers-sur-Oise, 1890 Oil on canvas 55 cm ×...

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Is Het Steen another missing Van Gogh painting?

      17-12-2021     Comments (0)

Two drawings of Het Steen Castle on the Scheldt in Antwerp have survived. But Vincent van Gogh clearly wrote to his brother Theo that he had painted The Steen. It must be a finished painting as Vincent showed it to art dealers. Where is it? Missing and gone forever? Or will it pop up one day? Hopefully it ends up exhibited in a museum in that case. Today 136 years ago, on 17 December 1885, Vincent van Gogh to Theo from Antwerp: "My dear Theo, Today, for the first time, I feel rather dejected — I’d made a painting of Het Steen and took it round the dealers. Two of them were out, and one didn’t like it, and one lamented in a dreadful manner that literally no one had set foot in his shop in a fortnight. This isn’t very cheering, particularly when the weather’s cold and bleak, and one has...

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To whom did Van Gogh give his Pink Peach Tree?

      16-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh signed his painting 'Pink Peach Tree in Blossom’ with Souvenir de Mauve. In The Hague in 1881 his cousin Anton Mauve taught Vincent to paint with oils. When Mauve died 7 years later Van Gogh dedicated his colorful Pink Peach Trees to Mauve and sent the painting to Mauve’s widow Jet. Today 138 years ago, on or about 16 December 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "My dear Theo, Mauve said to me at the time, ‘you’ll find yourself if you keep on working at art, if you go into it more deeply than you have done so far’. He said that 2 years ago. I think a lot about those words of his these days.” Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Souvenir de Mauve) Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 73 × 59.5 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo You may also...

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How was it for Van Gogh to move back in with his parents in Nuenen?

      15-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh and his father had an argument over Christmas in Etten in 1881. Vincent left for The Hague to Anton Mauve and he didn’t see his parents for two years. In the meantime his parents moved into the vicarage in Nuenen and only in December 1883 Vincent moved from Drenthe to live with his parents in Nuenen. Living with his parents didn’t feel particularly pleasant.. Today 138 years ago, on or about 15 December 1883, Vincent van Gogh to Theo from Nuenen: “Dear brother, I feel what Pa and Ma instinctively think about me (I don’t say reasonably). There’s a similar reluctance about taking me into the house as there would be about having a large, shaggy dog in the house. He’ll come into the room with wet paws — and then, he’s so shaggy. He’ll get in everyone’s...

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Did Victor Hugo inspire Van Gogh?

      14-12-2021     Comments (0)

Victor-Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885) was a French romantic poet, novelist, essayist and playwright. Vincent van Gogh was a big fan and he mentioned Victor Hugo many times in his letters to Theo. Maybe Victor Hugo’s famous novel 'Les Misérables' on social injustice inspired Van Gogh to paint the coarse life of peasants in ‘The Potato eaters’. Maybe it motivated Van Gogh to convey emotions through his art unlike the impressionists. It must have been special for Vincent to paint a portrait of an old man that resembled Victor Hugo, his literary hero. Today 136 years ago, on 14 December 1885, Vincent van Gogh to Theo from Antwerp: "My dear Theo, Just wanted to write and tell you that I’ve pressed ahead with models. I’ve made two fairly large heads by way of a trial for a portrait....

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When did Van Gogh and Gauguin clash?

      11-12-2021     Comments (0)

It was already before the ear accident on 23 December 1888 that Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin clashed. Gauguin came to Arles on 23 October 1888 and moved into The Yellow House that Van Gogh had set up as Studio of The South. Gauguin left on 25 December, but two weeks before he had already made up his mind. The two characters clashed and Gauguin was determined to leave Arles and move back to Paris. It wouldn’t get much better between the two artists after that. Today 133 years ago, on or about 11 December 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "My dear Theo, ...I myself think that Gauguin had become a little disheartened by the good town of Arles, by the little yellow house where we work, and above all by me. Indeed, there are bound to be grave difficulties still to overcome here, for him as well as...

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How did Theo van Gogh die in 1891?

      10-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh's younger brother Theo is often regarded as the Vincent’s strong and successful brother who supported the troubled artist. It was actually Vincent who was often worried about Theo’s health. Jo Bonger, Theo’s wife, met Vincent once, in Paris a few months before he died and she was surprised that Vincent came across much stronger than Theo. Theo died half a year after Vincent of dementia paralytica, a disease of the brain, supposedly caused by "heredity, chronic disease, overwork, sadness". Today 132 years ago, on 9 or 10 December 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister Willemien from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "You will receive soon, I think, the canvases I promised you. What I find very unfortunate is that you write that Jo says that Theo’s still coughing the...

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Where did Van Gogh order his canvas?

      09-12-2021     Comments (0)

When Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles and Saint-Rémy he ordered rolls of canvas at Tasset et L’Hôte in Paris. They were size 2 x 5 meters and 2 x 10 meters and Vincent cut the rolls to French sizes. His famous masterpieces of Vases with Sunflowers were size 30, which he would call large size, around 92 x 73 cm. By examining weaving patterns of the canvas of existing paintings, the Van Gogh Museum can determine which paintings came from a certain roll of canvas. In combination with information in Van Gogh’s letters this could lead to the dates of creation of the paintings. And.. perhaps of missing paintings from the same roll. Today 132 years ago, on 9 or 10 December 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister Willemien from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "I have 12 large canvases on the go,...

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Did Van Gogh frame his paintings?

      08-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh sent his paintings mostly unframed by train from the South of France to his brother in Paris. Quite regularly Vincent had suggestions, or rather directions for framing to Theo. He had done some framing himself as well, for example for the paintings in Gauguin’s room in The Yellow House, like The Sunflowers, The Green Vineyard, Ploughed Fields and the Unknown version of Poet's Garden. Today 132 years ago, on 8 December 1889, Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris: "Lately Tanguy has been exhibiting a lot of your canvases, he told me that he hopes to sell the Bench with the ivy. It’s a fine choice you’ve made for Brussels. I’ve ordered frames. For the Sunflowers I’m leaving the little wooden edge that’s around it, and a white frame around that. For the others,...

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What kind of trees did Van Gogh paint?

      07-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh loved trees . He painted the cypress, willow, peach tree, almond tree, pine tree, poplar, plane tree, plum tree, pollard, birch, blue fir, oak and mulberry tree. Did we miss any? Please let us know. Today 132 years ago, on 7 December 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "Among the studies you’ll find the following, which are for our mother and sister. Olive trees – Bedroom – Reaper – Working with plough – Wheatfield with cypresses – Orchard in blossom – Portrait. The remainder is above all autumn studies and I think the best one is the yellow mulberry tree against a very blue sky.” The Mulberry Tree Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on canvas 54 x 65 cm Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena, USA...

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Did Van Gogh paint the wharf in Amsterdam twice?

      06-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted the wharf at 'De Ruyterkade in Amsterdam' on 6, 7 or 8 October 1885 when he was in Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum. But two months later he wrote to his brother about is intention to paint the wharf. If he painted the wharf again, this painting is missing. Perhaps lost forever, or some day will be be someone’s lucky day.. Today 136 years ago, on 6 December 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Antwerp: "At a fourth I can exhibit a view of the wharf as soon as the weather allows me to paint it..” We do not know whether this plan was ever carried out. The notion that the intended work turned out to be this panel, as was long assumed on Tralbaut’s instigation, has proved to be incorrect (Tralbaut 1948): the panel is of the De Ruyterkade in Amsterdam and was...

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Who taught Van Gogh to paint?

      02-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh had already made drawings and watercolors when it was his cousin-in-law Anton Mauve in The Hague in 1881 who taught Van Gogh to paint with oils. His first painting of his 10 year career was 'Still Life with Cabbage and Clogs’. When Mauve died in 1888, Vincent painted Pink Peach Trees , signed with Souvenir de Mauve. Today 140 years ago, between 1 and 3 December 1881, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "I spoke to Mauve and said, would you approve if I were to come and trouble you for a good month or so – then when that time is up I’ll be past the first petty vexations of painting and will go back to Het Heike. Well, Mauve immediately installed me in front of a still life consisting of a couple of old clogs and other objects, and so I could set to work.”...

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Did Van Gogh want to become a magazine illustrator?

      01-12-2021     Comments (0)

Yes, Vincent van Gogh seriously had the ambition to be a magazine illustrator for some time. Lithography was invented in 1796 Germany, mainly to easily reproduce maps and sheet music. From the 1820s lithography was adopted by British artists who inspired Van Gogh. He collected magazines for their beautiful illustrations. Becoming an illustrator would also generate income so Vincent would be less dependent on his brother’s financial support. Today 139 years ago, on 1 December 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "Of course there are costs involved in the drawing, the stone, the printing, the paper. These are relatively low. Prints like the last one I sent you, say, like a new one that I finished yesterday evening and is now ready, would I believe be suitable for a popular edition, for instance,...

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Why was Van Gogh so happy with the Roulin family?

      30-11-2021     Comments (0)

Postman Joseph Roulin was one of Vincent van Gogh’s best friends in his life. It was not easy for Vincent to find models to paint. Thanks to his friendship with Joseph Roulin he could not only paint him, but also his wife Augustine, their sons Armand and Camille and their baby girl Marcelle. Van Gogh painted all of them at least three times. Today 133 years ago, on or about 30 Nov 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I’ve done the portraits of an entire family, the family of the postman whose head I did before – the man, his wife, the baby, the young boy and the 16-year-old son, all characters and very French, although they have a Russian look.” Portrait of Armand Roulin Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 65 x 54,1 cm Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany You may also like to read:...

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How did Van Gogh try to sell his paintings?

      28-11-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘The Red Vineyard' was sold at the exhibition Les XX in Brussels in 1890. This may be the only one he ever sold. He did try to sell his art though. For example in Antwerp where he went to art dealers to promote a few of his paintings that he had taken with him from Nuenen. Today 136 years ago, on 28 November 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Antwerp: "See that you send your letter off on the first, because I’ve got enough bread in until then, but after that I’d be in a real stew. My little room isn’t bad at all, and it definitely doesn’t look dreary. Now that I have the 3 studies I brought with me here, I’ll set about going to the picture dealers, who mostly seem to live in private houses, though, no shop windows on the street.” The...

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How many versions did Van Gogh make of At Eternity’s Gate?

      27-11-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent Van Gogh made four versions of At Eternity’s Gate: a study, a drawing and a lithograph in 1882. And then many years later in 1890 Van Gogh painted this 'Sorrowing old man’ or ‘Worn Out' again. Van Gogh died a few months later. The artworks portray the elderly Adrianus Zuyderland (1810-1897) who lived in the Old Men’s and Women’s Home in The Hague, which was supported by the poor board of the Dutch Reformed Congregation. Today 139 years ago, on 27 November 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: “..this morning I had to go to the printer’s with my old man. Now I’ve followed everything: the transfer to the stone, the preparation of the stone, the actual printing. And I have a better understanding of what I can change by retouching. Herewith the first...

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Did Van Gogh paint the asylum in Saint-Rémy?

      26-11-2021     Comments (0)

When Vincent van Gogh was a patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, most of the time he wasn’t allowed to leave the premises to paint. So Van Gogh painted views of the surrounding wheat fields, a series of pine trees in the hospital garden, the undergrowth, flowers like irises, roses, poppies, several still lifes and also butterflies and a moth. In winter he made copies of Rembrandt and Millet. His 12 month stay in the asylum turned out to be very productive as he made no less than 150 new paintings. Today 132 years ago, on or about 26 November 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Emile Bernard from Arles: "Here’s description of a canvas that I have in front of me at the moment. A view of the garden of the asylum where I am, on the right a grey terrace, a section of house, some...

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How many olive tree paintings did Van Gogh make?

      25-11-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh made 15 paintings of olive trees in total. At first he was struggling to capture the characteristics of the olive tree; he found them intimate and nearly too beautiful too paint. But he didn’t stop trying. Van Gogh even made 3 versions of 'Women Picking Olives’. Today 132 years ago, on or about 25 November 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Emile Bernard from Arles: "So at present am working in the olive trees, seeking the different effects of a grey sky against yellow earth, with dark green note of the foliage; another time the earth and foliage all purplish against yellow sky, then red ochre earth and pink and green sky. See, that interests me more than the so-called abstractions.” Women Picking Olives Saint-Rémy, 1889 Oil on canvas 72,7 x 91,4 cm The Metropolitan...

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How many Van Gogh works are lost?

      23-11-2021     Comments (0)

It is hard to answer how many art works by Vincent van Gogh are lost. Vincent made more than 2000 works and thanks to his letters we have an idea of how many of them are lost. 85 lost works is an estimate, of which many are drawings. Another 6 works have been destroyed and are lost forever. Vase with Five Sunflowers being the most famous one that was destroyed by fire in Japan in the Second World War. 137 years ago, on or about 23 November 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: “It’s getting better for me — although my expenses aren’t getting any smaller — but we’re definitely making progress just by working very hard now…. ...I’m also working on a watercolour of the water mill. Regards, with a handshake.” Watermill at Gennep Nuenen, 1884 Watercolor...

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How important was his brother’s opinion to Vincent van Gogh?

      22-11-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent en Theo's 'Uncle Cent' became partner at art dealer Goupil and Cie in 1861. Vincent started to work for Goupil in 1869 and Theo in 1873. Theo later became director of their branch in Paris. When Vincent decided to become an artist his brother's expertise was more than welcome and his opinion was very important to him. Apart from Theo’s financial and mental support, Vincent’s fame after he died can be viewed as a team effort. Today 139 years ago, on 22 November 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "My dear Theo, Together with this letter you’re receiving the first proofs of one lithograph, Digger, and one lithograph, Coffee drinker. I’d very much like to know as soon as possible what impression they make on you. I still plan to retouch them on the stone, and...

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