Was Van Gogh a food lover?

      27-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh preferred to spend his brother’s financial support on canvas and paint rather than expensive restaurants. He did like a nice restaurant though and an empty stomach wouldn’t lead to beautiful paintings. Today 133 years ago, between 27 September and 1 October 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Emile Bernard from Arles: "I’m beginning to believe more and more that food has something to do with our power to think and to make paintings; as for me, it doesn’t contribute to the success of my work if my stomach’s bothering me.” Earlier that year: "I’ve found a better restaurant where I eat for 1 franc.” This was Restaurant Vénissac on place Lamartine, where Van Gogh ate every day (at...

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Did Van Gogh and Gauguin work together?

      26-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were roommates, exchanged paintings, painted together, painted each other, wrote each other letters, discussed art and worked together by painting the same topic: Breton Women. Today 133 years ago, on 26 September 1888, Paul Gauguin wrote to Vincent van Gogh from Pont-Aven: "I’ve just done a religious painting, very badly done, but which was interesting to do, and which I like. I wanted to give it to the church at Pont-Aven. They don’t want it, of course. Breton women, grouped together, are praying; costumes very intense black. The yellow-white bonnets very luminous.” Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard and Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret each painted their version of Breton women. The painting on this page is...

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Was Van Gogh jealous of Milliet?

      25-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh admired lieutenant Paul Eugène Milliet (‘The lover’) for his way with women. He confesses to Theo: ‘Milliet’s lucky, he has all the Arlésiennes he wants, but there you are, he can’t paint them, and if he was a painter he wouldn’t have any.’ In this portrait he depicts him as the prototype of a lover. Today 133 years ago, on 25 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "As long as autumn lasts I won’t have enough hands, canvas or colours to paint the beautiful things that I see. I’m also working on the portrait of Milliet, but he poses badly, or else it’s my fault, which I don’t believe, however, because I badly need some studies of him because he’s good-looking,...

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Did Van Gogh use varnish?

      24-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh preferred a matt finish and not use varnish. He did recommend Theo to use varnish in a particular situation though. Today 138 years ago, on 24 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Hoogeveen: "Today I’m sending a package of 3 studies which I hope are dry enough. However, if they stick to the sheet of paper I laid on them as a precaution, soak them off with lukewarm water. The smallest one, in particular, has sunk in a lot, go over it with the white of an egg in about a week, or some varnish in a month’s time, to lift them. I’m sending them to let you take a look, and better after this — really.” Quite possible “Cottages” was part of this shipment. Cottages Nieuw Amsterdam, 1883...

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Did Van Gogh need friends?

      23-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh had good friends like the Postman Joseph Roulin, the paint grinder Père Tanguy and fellow artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. Yet he was fine being on his own at home, he was not dependent on their company. Today 133 years ago, on 23 (or 24) September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "A weaver, a basket-maker, often spends entire seasons alone, or almost alone, with his work as his only pastime. But what makes those people stay where they are is precisely the feeling of the house, the reassuring, familiar look of things. Of course I’d like company, but if I don’t have it I won’t be unhappy on that account, and then, above all, the time will come when I’ll have someone. I have little doubt about that. Now in your home too, I...

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How many drawings did Van Gogh do?

      22-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s drawings are not as famous as his paintings, but he created no less than 1100 drawings. Van Gogh saw the importance of drawings for his painting skills and under some circumstances like strong wind drawing was an excellent alternative to painting. Today 138 years ago, on or about 22 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Hoogeveen: "And I’ve also started pen drawings again, specifically with a view to painting, because one can go into such details with the pen as painted studies cannot do, and one does well to make two studies, one entirely drawn for the way things are put together, and one painted for the colour. If this can be done, that is, and the occasion permits, this is a way of working up the painted study later.” It is...

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Who was Van Gogh’s role model?

      21-09-2021     Comments (0)

The paint grinder Julien (Père) Tanguy in Paris was not only a father figure and good friend of Vincent van Gogh. Père Tanguy was also a role model for Van Gogh in the way he approached life. Today 133 years ago, on 21 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "We feel that the art in which we’re working has a long future yet to come, and so we have to be established like those who are tranquil, and not live like the decadents. Here I’ll have more and more the existence of a Japanese painter, living close to nature like a petit bourgeois. So you can easily tell that it’s less gloomy than the decadents. If I manage to live to quite an old age I’ll be something like Père Tanguy.” Van Gogh painted Pere Tanguy three...

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Did Van Gogh copy other artists?

      20-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh copied work from Utagawa Hiroshige, Jean-François Millet, Rembrandt, Emile Bernard, Virginie Demont Breton, Honoré Daumier, Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Doré, Keisai Eisen and Jacob Jordaens. Today 132 years ago, on 20 September 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "Although copying may be the old system, that absolutely doesn’t bother me at all… What I’m seeking in it, and why it seems good to me to copy them, I’m going to try to tell you. We painters are always asked to compose ourselves and to be nothing but composers. Very well – but in music it isn’t so – and if such a person plays some Beethoven he’ll add his personal interpretation to it – in...

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How many paintings did Van Gogh paint in the asylum?

      19-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was recovering from severe mental illness in the asylum in Saint-Rémy, but he was very productive there. He painted nearly 150 paintings in a year, including Starry Night, Irises and Blossoming Almond Tree. Today 132 years ago, on 19 September 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his mother from the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "These last few weeks I’ve been perfectly well as far as my health goes, and I work almost without stopping from morning till night, day after day, and I lock myself up in the studio to have no distractions. So it continues to be a great comfort to me that the work is progressing rather than going backwards, and I do it with perfect calm, and my thoughts in this respect are entirely clear and self-assured. And so compared with others...

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Who helped Vincent van Gogh?

      18-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s younger brother Theo not only advised Vincent to become an artists, he also supported him financially and mentally. Theo was his best friend and helped him develop his style that made him the famous artist he is now. Today 133 years ago, on 18 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from Arles: "At present I don’t yet find my paintings good enough for the benefits I’ve had from you. But once they’re good enough, I assure you that you will have created them just as much as I, and the fact is that we make them together.” and "At the moment I have another no. 30 square canvas on the go, a garden again, or rather a walk under plane trees, with green turf and black clumps of pines.”...

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Was Van Gogh ahead of his time?

      17-09-2021     Comments (0)

At the end of his career Vincent van Gogh was recognized by artists and art critics contrary to the years before. It would take a very long time though until his paintings became valuable. Today 139 years ago, between 12 and 17 September 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Anthon van Rappard from The Hague: "I’ve often worked on the beach recently, either drawing or painting. And the sea attracts me more and more. I don’t know what your experience of getting on with artists here has been like — I’ve found more than once that people began to rail viciously against what they called ‘the illustrative’ in a manner that to me very clearly proved they had no understanding of the matter at all, were completely unaware of what’s going on in that...

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How long did it take Van Gogh’s oil paintings to dry?

      16-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s oil paintings needed weeks to be dry enough to send them to his brother Theo. They shipped by train in piles and the paint would still be crushed (impacted impasto). And thick oil paint can actually still not be completely dry after 18 months. Today 133 years ago, on 16 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: “..there’ll be paintings that I really don’t want to send you before they’re as dry as a bone. In this last category is a no. 30 square canvas of a corner of a garden with a weeping tree, grass, round-trimmed cedar bushes, an oleander bush. Therefore the same corner of a garden of which you already have a study in the last consignment. But as it’s larger, there’s a lemon-coloured sky above it all, and then the...

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Was Van Gogh fascinated by cottages?

      15-09-2021     Comments (0)

Absolutely. In May 1885 Vincent van Gogh painted The Cottage. And in France he kept painting cottages, but in a different style with brighter colors, like Thatched Cottages at Cordeville and Thatched Cottages in the Sunshine . Today 138 years ago, on or about 15 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Hoogeveen in The Netherlands: "Well, it’s very beautiful inside these huts, dark as a cave. Drawings by certain English artists who have worked on the moors in Ireland most realistically convey what I observe. A. Neuhuys does the same with somewhat more poetry than strikes one at first, but he makes nothing that isn’t also fundamentally true.” The Cottage Nuenen, 1885 Oil on canvas 65,7 x 79,3 cm Van...

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At what time of the day did Van Gogh actually paint Cafe Terrace at Night?

      14-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh loved painting in nature, away from people. But in Arles, he actually painted the Cafe Terrace at Night on the spot at night, which he enjoyed very much as we can read in his letter. Today 133 years ago, on 14 September 1888 Vincent wrote to his sister Willemien: "Now there’s a painting of night without black. With nothing but beautiful blue, violet and green, and in these surroundings the lighted square is coloured pale sulphur, lemon green. I enormously enjoy painting on the spot at night. In the past they used to draw, and paint the picture from the drawing in the daytime. But I find that it suits me to paint the thing straightaway. It’s quite true that I may take a blue for a green in the dark, a blue lilac for a pink lilac, since...

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Did Van Gogh get inspiration from Japan?

      14-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was not only a big fan of Japanese woodblock prints by Hiroshige, but he also liked the Japanese lifestyle and view on the world very much. Today 133 years ago, on 14 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister Willemien van Gogh from Arles: "You know that the Japanese instinctively look for contrasts, and eat sweetened peppers, salty sweets, and fried ices and frozen fried dishes. So, too, following the same system you should probably only put very small paintings in a large room, but in a very small room you’ll put a lot of big ones." left: Sudden Shower over Shin-Ōhashi bridge and Atake (1857) Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858) Tokyo (Edo) 1857 Woodblock print: ink and color on paper...

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When did Van Gogh start painting?

      13-09-2021     Comments (0)

In December 1881 Vincent van Gogh painted one of his first works: "Still Life With Cabbage and Clogs”. In the next ten years his style changed completely. Today 138 years ago, on 13 September 1873, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from London: "Yesterday I saw an exhibition of Belgian paintings, which included various old acquaintances from the last Brussels Exhibition. There were various beautiful things by A. and Julien de Vriendt, Cluysenaar, Wouters, Coosemans, Gabriël, De Schampheleer, &c.” This was years before Vincent started painting himself. After spending a few years working for the art dealers Goupil & Cie in The Hague, Vincent van Gogh was transferred to their London branch in May 1873. In October 1874, Vincent moved to the Paris branch of...

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Has Van Gogh ever copied a painting by Rembrandt?

      12-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted "Half Figure of an Angel after Rembrandt” and "The Raising of Lazarus (after Rembrandt)" Today 146 years ago, on 12 September 1875, 5 years before Van Gogh started his painting career, he wrote to Theo from Paris: "You know the etching by Rembrandt, Burgomaster Six standing in front of the window, reading. I know that Uncle Vincent and Cor like it very much, and I sometimes think that they must have looked like that when they were younger. You also know the portrait of Six when he was older, I believe there’s an engraving of it in your shop. That life of his must have been a fine and serious life.” In 1890, shortly before Van Gogh moved from the South of France to Auvers-sûr-Oise in the North he received etches by...

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Did Van Gogh exchange his paintings?

      11-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh has probably sold only one painting during his life. But he also exchanged his work, for example with Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. Today 133 years ago, on 11 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "My letter to Gauguin has gone off; I asked them for an exchange if they wish; I would so much like to have here Gauguin’s portrait of Bernard and Bernard’s of Gauguin.” Gauguin and Bernard complied with Van Gogh’s request in early October, but instead of painting each other’s portrait they opted to paint a self-portrait with the other’s portrait in the background. In exchange Paul Gauguin got Self-portrait and Emile Bernard Quay with sand barges. Quay with Sand Barges Arles, 1888...

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When was Van Gogh’s mother born?

      10-09-2021     Comments (0)

Today 202 years ago in Leiden, on 10 September 1819, Van Gogh’s mother Anna Cornelia Carbentus (1819 - 1907) was born. When van Gogh lived in Arles in 1888, far away from his mother, he received a photo from his sister Willemien in black and white and that annoyed him. He wrote to Theo: "I’m writing to you in haste; I’m working on a portrait. That’s to say, I’m doing a portrait of our mother for myself. I can’t look at the colourless photograph, and I’m trying to do one with harmonious colour, as I see her in my memory.” When did Van Gogh’s mother die? Anna Cornelia Carbentus died on 29 april 1907. In her life she lost 4 sons. In 1852 she lost her first son Vincent in giving birth. She lost the the now famous...

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Was Van Gogh convinced he would succeed?

      09-09-2021     Comments (0)

Life was a bumpy road for Vincent van Gogh. But he kept faith, developed his style, focussed on his work and was convinced he would create a lot of beautiful paintings in the future. Today 139 years ago, on 9 September 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother from The Hague: "Here’s another scratch from the woods. I’ve made a large study of it. I feel the power to produce so strongly within myself, I’m aware that there will come a time when I’ll finish something good, so to speak, daily, and do so regularly.” Years later Van Gogh managed to finish a painting in one day. A Girl in a Wood The Hague, 1882 Oil on canvas 39 × 59 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands...

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