When did Theo van Gogh die?

      25-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent’s younger brother died at age 33. Theo suffered from dementia paralytica, an infection of the brain and his health declined rapidly after Vincent's death. Today 131 years ago, on 25 January 1891, Theo van Gogh died. This 1887 portrait by Vincent van Gogh, long thought to be a self-portrait, was reassessed in 2011 to be one of his brother Theo van Gogh. Portrait of Theo van Gogh Paris, 1887 Oil on paperboard 19 x 14 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam You may also like to read: Was Vincent van Gogh’s brother Theo successful? Van Gogh's 'Portrait of Theo van Gogh' Your daily dose of Van Gogh. << previous | next >>

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Did Van Gogh get along well with the people in Nuenen?

      24-01-2022     Comments (0)

It wasn’t easy for Vincent van Gogh to move back to his parents in Nuenen in 1883. Fortunately he got along well with the peasants and weavers there who were an excellent painting subject for Vincent. He soon had a busy life where he even gave art lessons to locals Willem van de Wakker, Anton Kerssemakers and Antoon Hermans. Today 138 years ago, between about 21 and 24 January 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "I can’t keep my mind on writing and I have little time for it, because when I’m not with Ma I’m at a weaver’s nearby, where I’m working on 2 painted studies. Write to me soon, with a handshake. Ever yours, Vincent” Weaver Facing Right Nuenen,1884 Oil on canvas on panel 37 x 45 cm Private collection after auction at Christie’s in Londen in 2006...

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Which was Theo van Gogh’s favorite olive tree painting?

      22-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted no less than 15 paintings of olive trees. It was one of his favorite subjects when he was allowed to paint outside of the asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. His brother Theo was not only happy that Vincent was recovering well from his mental problems, he also noticed further artistic development. One of Vincent’s olive trees stood out to Theo. Today 132 years ago, on 22 January 1890, Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris: "Do you know that when I saw your olive trees again, I found them more and more beautiful, the one with the sunset is especially superb. How you have worked since last year, it’s prodigious.” Olive Grove: Orange Sky Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on canvas 74,5 x 92,5 cm Göteborgs Museum of Art, Sweden You may also like to...

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Why was Van Gogh so happy with his portrait of Augustine Roulin?

      21-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was extremely satisfied with his use of colors in his portrait of Augustine Roulin. Only two weeks after he got out of hospital Van Gogh was focussed on discovering the effects of color combinations. Today 133 years ago, on 21 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Paul Gauguin from Arles: "Today I made a fresh start on the canvas I had painted of Mrs Roulin, the one which had remained in a vague state as regards the hands because of my accident. As an arrangement of colours: the reds moving through to pure oranges, intensifying even more in the flesh tones up to the chromes, passing into the pinks and marrying with the olive and Veronese greens. As an Impressionist arrangement of colours, I’ve never devised anything better.” Augustine Roulin / La berceuse Arles, 1889 Oil on canvas 92,7...

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Why was Mrs Ginoux a special friend for Van Gogh?

      20-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted 7 portraits of Madame Ginoux. He rented from Joseph-Michel Ginoux and Marie Ginoux at 30 Place Lamartine (The Night Cafe) from May to mid-September 1888 before moving into the Yellow House. They became good friends and Van Gogh kept writing them after he left Arles. Today 132 years ago, on 20 January 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Joseph Ginoux and Marie Ginoux-Julien from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "My dear friends Mr and Mrs Ginoux, I don’t know if you’ll remember, I find it quite strange, that about a year ago Mrs Ginoux was ill at the same time as I was; and now it has been so again since – just around Christmas – for a few days I was again taken quite badly this year, however it was over very quickly; I had it less than a week. Since, therefore, my dear friends,...

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Did Van Gogh paint when he was not feeling well?

      19-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh made more than 2000 art works in ten years. He was very productive when he stayed in the asylum recvovering from severe mental problems. When Van Gogh was physically weak he still painted. Painting seemed like a remedy to him to get well. Today 133 years ago, on 19 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Arles: "I’m still very weak, and I’ll have difficulty in regaining my strength if the cold continues. Rey will give me some quinine wine, which I dare believe will have some effect. I would have a lot more things to say to you in response to your letter, but I have a painting on the easel and am in a hurry.” This painting could be “Vincent’s Chair” or: Blue gloves and a basket of oranges and lemons Arles, 1889 Oil on canvas 48 × 62 cm...

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When did Van Gogh pick up painting after he cut off his ear?

      17-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh was in the hospital in Arles between 24 December 1888 and 7 January 1889 after he had cut off his ear. He got back to work immediately after although his house was damaged by the flooding Rhône and he was short of money. One of his first new paintings, 'Still life with a plate of onions' shows an envelope that probably contains the letter from Theo that arrived on 23 December 1888, the day of the ear accident. Today 133 years ago, on 17 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I was hoping for a letter from you around the tenth, but as that letter only arrived today, 17 January, the interval has been a fast of the most rigorous sort, all the more painfully so because my recovery couldn’t take place under those conditions. Nevertheless, I’ve started work again...

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Where in The Hague did Van Gogh live?

      14-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh lived at Schenkweg 138 from 1 January 1882 to 4 July 1882, close to his cousin and teacher Anton Mauve. The buildings in the street were bombed in the Second World War. In case you would like to visit the renamed place, navigate to Hendrick Hamelstraat 8–22, which is close the… Van Gogh park. Today 140 years ago, on or about 14 January 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "I’m planning to go on making small pen drawings whenever possible, but different from the large ones I made this summer. A bit sharper and a bit angrier. This is a sketch of Schenkweg, the view from my window. Well, adieu, with a handshake. Ever yours, Vincent” The watercolor painting based on the sketch mentioned above is one of the first paintings by van Gogh. Vincent had been drawing for...

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Did Van Gogh finish Millet’s work?

      13-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh copied 21 of Millet’s art works and many of them were drawings. Van Gogh himself often made a drawing as a study for a painting. Was that Millet's intention too? Did Millet simply lack time to paint the drawings he made? In that sense Van Gogh and Millet were a team in a historic chain of artists developing art in general. Van Gogh wrote about this in another letter . Today 132 years ago, on or about 13 January 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "The more I think about it the more I find that there’s justification for trying to reproduce things by Millet that he didn’t have the time to paint in oils. So working either on his drawings or the wood engravings, it’s not copying pure and simple that one would be doing. It is rather...

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Why did Van Gogh take painting lessons in Antwerp?

      12-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh learned to draw from antique sculptures at the art academy in Antwerp in 1886. A reason he wanted to enroll painting classes from Charles Verlat was the cheap access to models to paint. 136 yeas ago, between 12 and 16 January 1886, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Antwerp: "At the moment I’ve left 5 paintings — 2 portraits, 2 landscapes, 1 still life — with Verlat’s painting class at the academy. I’ve just been there again, but each time I haven’t found him there. But I’ll soon be able to let you know how that turns out. And I hope to arrange it so that I can paint from the model at the academy all day, which would make it easier for me, since the models are so awfully expensive that I can’t keep it up.” Still Life with Bible Nuenen, 1885 Oil on...

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How many of Van Gogh’s original frames have survived?

      10-01-2022     Comments (0)

Only one original frame of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings has survived. It is the frame of 'Quinces, Lemons, Pears and Grapes’. A painting he made in Paris in 1887, that he dedicated to his brother Theo. Theo had encouraged Vincent to change his colors from dark to bright. The art works of impressionists in Paris finally convinced Van Gogh and he even painted the frame in yellow and green. After Paul Gauguin had left Vincent in Arles he saw this painting in Paris at Theo’s house: 133 years ago, between 8 and 16 January 1889, Paul Gauguin wrote to Vincent van Gogh from Paris: “...your sunflowers on a yellow background which I regard as a perfect page of an essential ‘Vincent’ style. At your brother’s home I saw your Sower, which is very good, as well as a yellow still life, apples...

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Did Van Gogh actually copy Millet?

      08-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh copied 21 art works of Millet. But did he actually copy them? Were Van Gogh’s paintings only inspired on Millet’s art? Van Gogh clearly changed color, composition and perspective. The expression is also different. They gave Vincent comfort, translating Millets into another language. What did Theo think? Today 132 years ago, on 8 January 1890, Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris: "Yesterday evening your new consignment arrived, and it’s very remarkable. You know, one of the things I like best is the Evening after Millet. Copied like that it’s no longer a copy. There’s a tone in it and everything is so harmonious. It’s really very successful.” Evening (after Millet) Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on canvas 74,5 x 93,5 cm Van Gogh Museum,...

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Which paintings did Van Gogh show at the Independents exhibition in Paris in 1889?

      07-01-2022     Comments (0)

The fifth exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants was held in Paris from 3 September to 4 October 1889. Vincent van Gogh sent Starry Night over the Rhône and Irises, two masterpieces that he made in Arles in 1888 en Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in 1889. Today 133 years ago, on 7 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I just think that we must still keep calm regarding my own painting. If you want some I can certainly send them to you now, but when calm returns to me I hope to do something else. In any case, as regards the Independents, do what seems best to you and what the others will do.” Irises Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on canvas 71 × 93 cm J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles You may also like to read: Guest blog by...

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Did Van Gogh give his paintings away?

      04-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh’s paintings were not in demand when he was alive. He probably only sold one: The Red Vineyard. Van Gogh also exchanged his paintings with art works from Gauguin and Bernard. Van Gogh also traded his paintings for food or painting supplies. Or he gave them away, like the The White Cottage Among the Olive Trees to his good friend in Arles, postman Joseph Roulin. Today 132 years ago, on 4 January 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "Yesterday I sent 2 canvases to Marseille, i.e. I made a present of them to my friend Roulin, a white farmhouse among the olive trees and a wheatfield with a background of lilac mountains and a dark tree, as in the large canvas I sent you.” The White Cottage Among the Olive Trees Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on...

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Which painting is Van Gogh’s Ravine hiding?

      03-01-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted two versions of The Ravine. One version resides in the Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands. The second version in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston hides a painting underneath the surface: Wild vegetation. This was only discovered by x-rays in 2007, 118 years after he painted it. It is unlikely that Van Gogh was not happy with the painting and therefore painted over it. He had made sketch of it and wrote about it to Theo. Probably Van Gogh was short of canvas and used it again. And another masterpiece was lost forever.. Today 132 years ago, on 3 January 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "The ravine. This is the study done on a day when the mistral was blowing; I had wedged my easel in place with large stones. ­The painting of this...

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How long did Van Gogh stay in the hospital in Arles?

      02-01-2022     Comments (0)

The first time Van Gogh spent two weeks in the hospital in Arles. The ear accident happened on 23 December 1888. The morning after on 24 December 1888 Van Gogh was brought to the hospital in Arles and he stayed there until 7 January 1889. Before he moved to the asylum in Saint-Rémy Van Gogh stayed in the hospital in Arles two more times: from 7 February 1889 - 18 February 1889 and from 26 February 1889 - 8 May 1889. Today 133 years ago, on 2 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "My dear Theo, In order to reassure you completely on my account I’m writing you these few words in the office of Mr Rey, the house physician, whom you saw yourself. I’ll stay here at the hospital for another few days — then I dare plan to return home very calmly. Now I ask just one thing of you, not...

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How ambitious was Van Gogh?

      31-12-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh gave everything he had to succeed. Van Gogh’s ambition in combination with his creative talent, his intense and sensitive mind made him focus to produce about 900 paintings, 1100 drawings and 9 lithographs in just 10 years. And he probably sold just one painting. That came with a price. He wrote: "I have lost my soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.” In December 1882 Van Gogh created a lithograph of a man with a pipe and bandaged eye. If only he knew that 6 years later he would paint himself resembling that poor man. auctioned in at Christie’s in London in 2019 and is now part of a private collection. Today 139 years ago, on 31 December 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "My dear Theo, It’s New Year’s Eve and I feel so much like...

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Who was Van Gogh’s Woman with Red Ribbon?

      28-12-2021     Comments (0)

The Woman with Red Ribbon or Lady with Red Hair Band worked in a cafe chantant in Antwerp. She could be a prostitute. Vincent van Gogh wondered why these cafes didn’t want portraits of women on their walls since people went there to see women dancing and singing. Van Gogh gave the painting to Emile Bernard who he met in Paris in 1886. It was auctioned in at Christie’s in London in 2019 and is now part of a private collection. Today 136 years ago, on 28 December 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Antwerp: "When the model came to me, she’d evidently had a few busy nights — she said something that was entirely typical — for my part, champagne doesn’t cheer me up, it makes me very sad. Then I knew what to do, and I tried to get something voluptuous and sad at the same time....

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What made it difficult for Van Gogh to paint the Alpilles?

      24-12-2021     Comments (0)

The Mistral wind made it very difficult to paint the The Chaîne des Alpilles: a small range of low mountains in Provence. “..it’s enjoyable to work in really wild sites where you have to bury your easel in the stones so that the wind doesn’t send everything flying to the ground." Today 132 years ago, on or about 24 December 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his mother from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "At the moment I’m working on a painting of a path between the mountains and a small stream that works its way between the stones. The rocks are solid lilac grey or pink, with bushes here and there: box and a sort of broom, that have all sorts of colours, green, yellow, red, brown, because of the autumn. And the stream in the foreground white and foaming like soapsuds, and further up...

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When did Van Gogh cut off his ear?

      23-12-2021     Comments (0)

Today 133 years ago, on the evening of 23 December 1888, Van Gogh suffered an acute mental breakdown. As a result he cut off his left ear and took it to a prostitute in a local brothel. The police found him at home the next morning and had him admitted to hospital. On 24 December Gauguin sent a telegram to Theo, who immediately took the night train to Arles. 10 days later, on 2 January 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: “My dear Theo, In order to reassure you completely on my account I’m writing you these few words in the office of Mr Rey, the house physician, whom you saw yourself. I’ll stay here at the hospital for another few days — then I dare plan to return home very calmly. Now I ask just one thing of you, not to worry, for that would cause me one worry too many.”...

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