Who were the painters of the Petit Boulevard?

      03-04-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was part of a rising group of young painters in Paris. The painters of the Petit Boulevard separated themselves from successful impressionists like Monet, Degas, and Renoir. Other painters of the Petit Boulevard were Pissarro, Seurat, Signac, Gauguin, Laval, Bernard, Anquetin, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Today 134 years ago, on or about 3 April 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I’m in the uncomfortable position of convincing Tersteeg I really am an Impressionist of the Petit Boulevard and that I expect to retain that position. Ah well, he’ll have one of my paintings in his own collection — I’ve been thinking about it these past few days and I’ve found a funny thing of a kind I’m not going to do every day. It’s the drawbridge with a little yellow carriage...

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Did Van Gogh admire Jean Richepin?

      01-04-2022     Comments (0)

Yes Vincent van Gogh especially enjoyed the book Miarka by the French poet, novelist and dramatist Jean Richepin. So much actually that he wrote Theo the opening and closing lines of the song that Miarka, the central character sings, in memory of Mauve. Today 134 years ago, on or about 1 April 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "It seemed to me that in memory of Mauve we needed something that was both tender and very cheerful and not a study in a more serious key than that. ‘Don’t believe that the dead are dead. While there are people still alive The dead will live, the dead will live’. That’s how I feel the thing, no sadder than that. In addition to that I now have another 4 or 5 studies of orchards and I’m going to start a no. 30 canvas of the same subject.”...

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What did Van Gogh write on his 35th birthday?

      30-03-2022     Comments (0)

On his own 35th birthday, Vincent van Gogh wrote a letter to his sister and congratulated her with her birthday! And he gave her a beautiful painting he made of a sprig of almond blossom in a glass. Today 169 years ago, on 30 March 1853, Vincent van Gogh was born. "My dear sister, So as not to let your letter go unanswered I’m writing immediately upon receipt of your letter and Ma’s and the good wishes from you both… …For my part I must also wish you a happy birthday (Willemien turned 26 on 16 March 1888) — since I’d like to give you something of my work that you’ll like I’ll set aside a little study of a book and a flower for you — in a large format with a whole mass of books with pink, yellow, green covers and fiery red — my painting Parisian novels was the...

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How did Van Gogh’s father die?

      27-03-2022     Comments (0)

Theodorus van Gogh, Vincent’s father, died of a stroke in the evening of 26 March 1885. He had visited a town near Nuenen and walked back home in the cold and snow. He collapsed when he arrived home and died immediately after. Today 137 years ago, on 27 March 1885, Vincent van Gogh sent a telegram to his brother Theo from Eindhoven: "sudden death, come, van gogh." His sister Willemien wrote to her friend Line Kruysse a year later: "Pa went out in the morning healthy and in the evening he came home and as he came in the door he collapsed without giving any further sign of life. It was terrible. I shall never forget that night. It happened at half-past seven in the evening. Cor was in Helmond and didn’t get home until half-past one in the morning; oh, it was so dreadful. I hope that you will be...

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Why didn’t the police in Arles like Van Gogh’s painting of red herrings?

      24-03-2022     Comments (0)

A herring was slang for a gendarme. Vincent van Gogh painted them with this in mind after he had been in trouble with the police. They locked up Vincent’s house when he was in hospital in Arles after the ear accident. And they didn’t feel like giving Theo and Signac entrance to Vincent’s house to check out paintings. Today 133 years ago, on 24 March 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "My dear Theo, I’m writing to tell you that I’ve seen Signac, which did me a lot of good.. As a keepsake I gave him a still life which had exasperated the good gendarmes of the town of Arles because it depicted two smoked herrings, which are called gendarmes, as you know.” Still life with red herrings Arles, 1889 Oil on canvas 33 x 41 cm Private collection You may also like to read:...

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Did Van Gogh expect his paintings to grow in value over time?

      23-03-2022     Comments (0)

Although Vincent van Gogh realized his paintings were not worth anything when he painted them, he knew they were part of an oeuvre and expected them to be appreciated better in the future. Today 137 years ago on about 23 March 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "I work hard and — suppose that only 1 in 10 or 20 of the studies that I make have something that makes them worth the trouble of looking at them — those few, be it more, be it fewer in number — although they’re worth nothing now, may well be later. Not so much in themselves as in conjunction with other studies. Be this as it may — I want to try it again, and so as soon as they’re completely dry and I can varnish them, I’ll send you a few heads and also a little sketch of a yarn-winder.” Woman Winding...

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Did Van Gogh think he was mad?

      22-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh wrote about his mental problems several times. He didn’t know exactly what was going on. Neither did the doctors then and even now we can only speculate what was going by what he wrote and what his doctors said back then. Most likely it was a combination of things that caused his problems and behavior. Underlying vulnerabilities were probably (bipolar) mood disorder and borderline. Alchohol and unhealthy eating habits could have worsened this. Then stopping with drinking alcohol and epilepsy could have made his depressions worse. Around these episodes of attacks Van Gogh painted. A lot. Like a madman ;) He produced hundreds of paintings that much later turned out to be masterpieces. He wanted to paint and felt he needed it. It calmed him down and he believed it would improve his health. If only he could...

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Did Gauguin like Van Gogh’s paintings?

      20-03-2022     Comments (0)

Paul Gauguin liked Vincent van Gogh’s paintings a lot. Not just in Arles when they both lived in The Yellow House and often painted together. Also long after their clash Gauguin was charmed by Van Gogh’s work, for example when he saw some in Theo’s place and at the Independents’ exhibition in Paris. Gauguin even wanted to exchange a painting with Van Gogh. Today 132 years ago, on or about 20 March 1890, Paul Gauguin wrote to Vincent van Gogh from Paris: "I’ve talked about it with your brother, and there’s one that I would like to exchange with you for a thing of your choice. The one I’m talking about is a mountain landscape. Two tiny travellers seem to be climbing up there in search of the unknown. It contains an emotion à la Delacroix, with a very evocative colour. Here and...

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How much did Van Gogh’s The Red Vineyard sell for?

      19-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Red Vineyard sold at the exhibition of the Salon of Les XX in Brussels to Anna Boch for 400 francs. This could have been the only painting sold by Van Gogh during his lifetime. Today 132 years ago, on 19 March 1890, Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris: "I’ve received the money for your painting from Brussels, and Maus writes to me: ‘When you have an opportunity please tell your brother that I was very happy that he participated in the Salon of Les Vingt where, in the melée of discussions, he found lively artistic sympathies’. Do you want me to send you the money? I’m holding it for you for whenever you want it.” The Red Vineyard Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 75 × 93 cm Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow You may also like to...

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What happened to the rest of Van Gogh’s painting of Two Lovers?

      18-03-2022     Comments (0)

The fragment Walking couple / Two Lovers is all that has survived of a study van Gogh painted. A letter shows a sketch of the whole painting, including The Langlois bridge. Van Gogh later wrote that he had ruined the study. Today 134 years ago, on 18 March 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Emile Bernard from Arles: "At the top of this letter I’m sending you a little croquis of a study that’s preoccupying me as to how to make something of it — sailors coming back with their sweethearts towards the town, which projects the strange silhouette of its drawbridge against a huge yellow sun.” Walking couple / Two lovers Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 32,7 x 22,8 cm Private collection You may also like to read: Was Van Gogh jealous of Milliet? Our hand-painted reproduction of Van...

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Was Van Gogh a perfectionist?

      10-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh often took the time he needed before sending a batch of paintings to his brother, self critical like a real perfectionist. The fact that he was able to finish a painting in a day sometimes doesn’t mean it was done hastily. It was just his artistic style that required a certain pace of painting. Today 134 years ago, on 10 March 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I have two more studies of landscapes, I hope the work will continue steadily and that in a month I’ll get a first consignment to you — I say in a month because I want to send you nothing but the best, and because I want it to be dry, and because I want to send at least a dozen or so all at once because of the cost of transport.” One of the studies probably was: The Gleize Bridge over the Vigueirat Canal...

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What did Van Gogh receive from Lucien Pissarro in exchange for his painting?

      09-03-2022     Comments (0)

In Paris Vincent van Gogh had exchanged his Basket of apples for several wood engravings by Lucien Pissarro, son of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Wood engravings were similar to the Japanese woodblock prints that Van Gogh collected. But with wood engravings the line is incised into the woodblock, rather than the background being cut away to leave a line in relief. Both ways were popular printmaking methods in the 19th century. Today 134 years ago, on 9 March 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "Now I’ve just finished a study like the one of mine Lucien Pissarro has, but this time it’s of oranges. That makes eight studies I have up to now. But that doesn’t count, as I haven’t yet been able to work in comfort and in the warm.” Basket of oranges Arles,1888 Oil on...

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Did Van Gogh like poetry?

      08-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was an avid reader of English and French literature. He enjoyed poetry by Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton (1 May 1827 – 5 July 1906), a French naturalist painter and shared Breton’s poems with his friend Anthon van Rappard. Today 138 years ago, on 8 March 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Anthon van Rappard from Nuenen: "My dear friend Rappard, Here, too, are some of the poems by Jules Breton, if you don’t have them I’m sure they’ll really touch you. Today, or rather in the last few days, I’ve painted a study of the loom of which you have the drawing.” It might be that Van Gogh is referring here to: Weaver and a spinning wheel Nuenen, 1884 Oil on canvas 62,5 x 84,4 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston You may also like to read: Who inspired Van...

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Did Van Gogh make chalk drawings?

      05-03-2022     Comments (0)

Yes, thanks to his mother who once gave him large pieces of chalk Vincent van Gogh made beautiful chalk drawings. He was impressed by the beauty if its color. Vincent van Gogh, known for his use of bright colors in heavily impasted oil paintings in the South of France loved the blackness of chalk in his drawings just a few years before in The Hague.. He followed his dreams and experience a transformation. Today 139 years ago, on 5 March 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Anthon van Rappard from The Hague: "Now another thing — do you know natural chalk? Last year I was given a few large pieces by my brother, this size, no less. I worked with it but didn’t pay it much attention and forgot about it. Now lately I found a piece again and I was struck by how beautiful its colour was, its blackness. Yesterday I did a...

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How did Van Gogh find interesting models in The Hague?

      03-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh had a trick to draw interesting figures when he lived in The Hague. He asked his models to pose in the studio like the fascinating people he had spotted in the streets. Today 140 years ago, on 3 March 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "Yesterday evening I went out with him to look for figure types in the street in order to study them later in the studio with a model. In that way I drew an old woman I’d seen in the Geest district where the madhouse is.” Old woman with a shawl and a walking-stick The Hague, 1882 Pencil, pen and brown ink (originally black), opaque light green watercolour 57,4 x 32 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam You may also like to read: Where in The Hague did Van Gogh live? Van Gogh's 'Old woman with a shawl and a...

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Did Van Gogh find what he was looking for in Arles?

      02-03-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh traveled to the South of France to find warm light and bright colors. And he certainly found what he was looking for in Arles. There was a major exhibition in Paris coming up, but he didn’t care so much which earlier work to show. He expected to make interesting paintings in Arles. And he was right! Two weeks after his arrival: Today 134 years ago, on or about 2 March 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Arles: "About the Independents’ exhibition, do whatever you see fit. What would you say to showing the two large landscapes of the Butte Montmartre there? It’s all much the same to me, I’m inclined to place slightly more hopes in this year’s work." Vegetable gardens in Montmartre Paris, 1887 Oil on canvas 96 x 120 cm Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam...

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How many times did Van Gogh paint the old church tower in Nuenen?

      26-02-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted and drew the old church tower no less than 35 times. The 12th-cntury church was to be demolished and Van Gogh painted it at several stages of the process. The foundation of the church still exists and can be visited. Today 138 years ago, on 26 February 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Anthon van Rappard from Nuenen: "I’ve mostly been painting these last few weeks — the weavers — toiled away at it quite a bit. And in these recent mild days painted outside in the fields, a little peasant cemetery.” The old church tower at Nuenen with a ploughman Nuenen, 1884 Oil on canvas 36 x 44,3 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo You may also like to read: Did Van Gogh get along well with the people in Nuenen? Our hand-painted reproduction of Van...

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Which Berceuse portrait by Van Gogh did Augustine Roulin choose?

      25-02-2022     Comments (0)

Augustine Roulin chose Van Gogh's portrait of her that now resides in the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Van Gogh painted 5 slightly different versions and described them as "our lullaby or the woman rocking the cradle." Today 133 years ago, on or about 25 February 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "Yesterday and today I began to work. When Mrs Roulin also left, to go and live with her mother in the country for the time being, she took away the Berceuse. I had the sketch of it and two repetitions. She had a good eye and took the best one, only I’m currently redoing it. And I don’t want this one to be inferior.” The Roulins had chosen: Augustine Roulin ‘La berceuse’ Oil on canvas Arles, 1889 93 x 73 cm The Metropolitan Museum of Art, new York...

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What did Van Gogh think of the Museum Réattu in Arles?

      24-02-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh wasn’t quite impressed by the Musée Réattu in Arles. It had a small collection of paintings, many of them copies. It is named after the Arles-born painter Jacques Réattu. These days the Réattu Museum owns 800 paintings and drawings by Jacques Réattu. In 1971, Pablo Picasso donated 57 of his recent drawings to the museum. Today 134 years ago, on 24 February 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "The studies I have are an old woman of Arles, a landscape with snow, a view of a stretch of pavement with a butcher’s shop. The women really are beautiful here, it’s no joke— on the other hand, the Arles museum is dreadful and a joke.." An old woman of Arles Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 58 x 42 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam You...

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What did Charles Verlat think of Vincent van Gogh?

      22-02-2022     Comments (0)

Charles Verlat was Vincent van Gogh’s teacher at the academy in Antwerp in 1886. The two clashed about Van Gogh’s unconventional style. Verlat did like Van Gogh’s ‘Portrait of an old man’ though! Today 136 years ago, on 22 February 1886, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Antwerp: "While I’ve been here — all this time — I’ve had a comrade, an old Frenchman . I’ve painted his portrait, which Verlat liked and which you will see. The winter was even harder for him than for me, and the poor devil is in a much worse state than I am, since his age makes it very critical.” Portrait of an old man Antwerp, 1885 Oil on canvas 44,4 x 33,7 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam You may also like to read: Did Victor Hugo inspire Van Gogh? Our...

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