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.”...

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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...

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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? Your Daily Dose of Van Gogh What did Vincent van Gogh write...

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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 You...

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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? FREE Van Gogh e-book Our...

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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...

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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? FREE Van...

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What was special about the women from Arles?

      19-02-2022     Comments (0)

The ‘Arlésiennes’ were known as the most beautiful women in the world and a popular topic in nineteenth-century art, literature and theatre. Vincent van Gogh was also impressed. Women from Arles had a highly sophisticated dress style with jewel-coloured satin fabric, a delicate lace bodice, shawl and a white parasol. It was traditional but without the folk like relationship to peasants. Their hair was a complex double chignon wrapped around a tiny headdress of ribbon or lace. Today 132 years ago, on 19 February 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister Willemien from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "I have a portrait of an Arlésienne on the go in which I’m seeking an expression different from that of Parisian women.” Marie Ginoux, The Arlésienne...

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Where in Nuenen did Van Gogh paint?

      16-02-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh painted cottages, peasants and wevers and churches . But Vincent didn’t need to travel much to find beauty. Just like when he painted the garden of the asylum in Saint-Rémy, the parsonage garden in Nuenen was sufficient artistic inspiration to Van Gogh. The laundry room was turned into a studio in the back of the house. 137 years ago, between 5 and 26 February 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "I painted a few more studies of our garden when there was snow on it." One of the two paintings of the parsonage garden in the snow is: The parsonage garden in the snow Nuenen, 1885 Oil on canvas on panel 53 x 78 cm Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles You may also like to read: Follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps in Nuenen FREE Van Gogh e-book...

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Which Van Gogh painting did Leo Gausson receive?

      14-02-2022     Comments (0)

It is not known which work by Van Gogh Leo Gausson received. But after Vincent van Gogh died a painting of each of both artists was exchanged. Gausson was a big fan of Vincent van Gogh. On the Indépendants exhibition in Paris in 1888 their paintings were shown next to each other. Today 162 years ago, on 14 February 1860, Léo Gausson (1860 - 1944) was born. In June 1890, Gausson was mentioned in a letter from Theo van Gogh to his brother Vincent in connection with a proposed exchange of paintings which was completed after Vincent’s death. Theo wrote from Paris to Vincent on 5 June 1890: " Gausson wants to do an exchange with you, anything you want of his in exchange for what you want to give him. I told him to come one day with me to see you...

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How many paintings did Van Gogh exhibit in 1890?

      12-02-2022     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh may have sold just one painting during his lifetime. That doesn’t mean he didn't get recognition. In 1890 Van Gogh exhibited no less than ten paintings at the sixth exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. Today 132 years ago, on 12 February 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "For the Impressionists’ exhibition in March I hope to send you a few more canvases which are drying at the moment. If they didn’t arrive in time you would have to make a choice from those that are at père Tanguy’s.” One of the exhibited paintings was: Cypresses Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on canvas 93,4 ×...

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Who bought Van Gogh’s The Red Vineyard?

      10-02-2022     Comments (0)

Today 174 years ago, on 10 February 1848, Anna Boch was born. Anna was the sister of Eugène Boch, another impressionist painter and a friend of Van Gogh. They were born into the fifth generation of the Boch family, a wealthy dynasty of manufacturers of fine china and ceramics, still active today under the firm of Villeroy & Boch. The Red Vineyard, purchased by Anna Boch, was long believed to be the only painting Van Gogh sold during his lifetime. The Anna Boch collection was sold after her death. In her will, she donated the money to pay for the retirement of poor artist friends. The Red Vineyard Arles, 1888 Oil on Canvas 75 cm × 93 cm Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow You may also like to read:...

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Who resembled Vincent Willem van Gogh as a baby?

      09-02-2022     Comments (0)

Before Vincent van Gogh’s nephew Vincent Willem was born, he painted a portrait of Postman Joseph Roulin’s baby: Marcelle Roulin. As Vincent and his brother Theo were always discussing color in paintings it is not surprising Theo noticed resemblance in the blue of both babies’ eyes. Today 132 years ago, on 9 February 1890 Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent van Gogh from Paris: "Things are going well at home with us, Jo is nursing the baby and has no lack of milk, and the little one sometimes lies down with his eyes wide open and his fists against his face. Then he has the look of being completely well. He has blue eyes like the baby you painted, and fat cheeks.” Two months before, Van Gogh painted: Portrait of Marcelle Roulin Arles,...

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When was Van Gogh’s father born?

      08-02-2022     Comments (0)

Today 200 years ago, on 8 February 1822, Theodorus van Gogh (Vincent’s father) was born in Benschop, The Netherlands. He died on 26 March 1885 in Nuenen. Theodorus ("Dorus") van Gogh was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Zundert, Helvoirt, Etten and Nuenen. On 7 February 1876 Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother from Paris: "My dear Theo, My hearty congratulations to you on the occasion of Pa’s birthday. It’s a beautiful text, the one for 8 February: Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it. What that it will be for our Father and for us we do not know, but in a sense we can leave that to Him whose name is ‘Our Father’ and ‘I am that I am’." You may also like to read:...

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Did Van Gogh like ugly faces?

      05-02-2022     Comments (0)

In the Potato Eaters Van Gogh wanted to show respect for honest hard working peasants without painting them more attractive than they were. And two years earlier Van Gogh appreciated the expression of an old man with an eye patch, following two other masters who were not afraid of showing ugliness. Today 139 years ago, on 5 February 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague: "I thought of Heyerdahl’s words — I don’t like a figure to be too degenerate — when I was drawing not the woman but the old man with a bandage over his eye, and I found they were not true. There are ruins, absolute ruins, of physiognomies, which nonetheless have something that I see fully expressed in, for example, the Hille Bobbe by Frans Hals or some heads by Rembrandt.”...

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Did Van Gogh show La Mousmé on the Independents exhibition in 1889?

      03-02-2022     Comments (0)

Nearly! Vincent thought of sending his portrait of this Provençal girl, inspired by Pierre Loti's novel Madame Chrysanthème, to the exhibition in Paris. But he decided to show just two of his paintings: Starry Night over the Rhone and Irises. Today 133 years ago, on 3 February 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "For the Independents, it seems to me that six paintings is too many by half. To my taste the harvest and the white orchard are enough, with the little Provençal girl or the sower if you want. But it’s all the same to me. I just really want one day to give you a more consolatory impression in our trade of painting in which we work, by means of a collection of around 30 more serious studies. In any case, that will prove to our real friends like...

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Who painted the first oil portrait of Vincent van Gogh?

      01-02-2022     Comments (0)

John Peter Russell (16 June 1858 – 30 April 1930), an Australian impressionist painter, painted the first oil portrait of Van Gogh. When he was 18, Russell moved from Australia to England. In 1886 he took art lessons in Paris from Fernand Cormon, where he met Vincent van Gogh. They became friends, Russell painted Van Gogh and they wrote letters to each other when Van Gogh moved to the South of France. Today 132 years ago, on 1 February 1890, Vincent van Gogh wrote to John Peter Russell from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "How it pleases me to write to you after a long silence. Do you remember the time when, almost simultaneously, you I think first and I afterwards, met our friend Gauguin? He’s still struggling on – and alone, or almost alone, like the good...

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