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 You may also like to read: How long did it take Van Gogh to finish a painting?...

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When did Gauguin live with Van Gogh in The Yellow House?

      08-09-2021     Comments (0)

Paul Gauguin lived with Vincent van Gogh in The Yellow House in Arles from 23 October to 25 December 1888 in what they called ‘The Studio of the South’. Today 133 years ago, on 8 September 1888, Paul Gauguin wrote from Pont-Aven: "My dear Vincent, ...Yes, you’re right to wish for painting with a coloration suggesting poetic ideas, and in that sense I’m in agreement with you, with one difference. I don’t know any poetic ideas, it’s probably a sense that I lack. I find EVERYTHING poetic, and it’s in the corners of my heart which are sometimes mysterious that I catch a glimpse of poetry.” Vincent van Gogh Painting Sunflowers (by Paul Gauguin ) Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 73 cm x 91 cm Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam You may also like to read: Gauguin and Van Gogh...

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When did Van Gogh start copying Millet?

      07-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent was a big fan of Millet’s work before he was an artist himself. Right at the beginning of his painting career, he already copied Millet (1814 - 1875). Today 141 years go, on 7 September 1880, Vincent van Gogh wrote from Cuesmes in Belgium: "Dear Theo, As for the sheets, etchings &c. that you sent me some time ago, I received them safely and I thank you very much for them. You did me a great service by sending them. I’ll tell you, then, that I’ve sketched the 10 sheets of Millet’s Labours of the fields (in approximately the dimensions of a sheet of the Bargue Cours de dessin) and that I’ve completely finished one of them, namely The woodcutter.” Later in his career van Gogh painted no less than 21 copies Van Gogh made of Millet’s work. Vincent had no idea he would...

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Where did Van Gogh store his paintings?

      06-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh sent his paintings to his brother Theo who stored them in his house. From 1889 many of them were also kept at Père Tanguy’s place in Paris. Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris in July 1889: "I’ve rented a small room in père Tanguy’s house where I’ve put quite a few of them… Père Tanguy has already given me a lot of help, and it’s going to be very easy to let him continually have new things to show.” Vincent replied, Today 131 years ago, on 6 September 1889: "My dear brother, Although I’ve already written to you, there are still many things you have told me and to which I haven’t yet replied. First that you’ve rented a room in Tanguy’s house and that my canvases are there, that’s most interesting...

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When was Van Gogh recognized?

      05-09-2021     Comments (0)

Although Van Gogh (1853 -1890) probably sold just one painting while alive, in January 1890 art critic Albert Aurier described him as "a genius”. And in the same year Van Gogh exhibited 10 paintings on Artistes Indépendants in Paris, Claude Monet said that his work was the best in the show. Today 132 years ago, on 5 September 1889, Theo van Gogh wrote to Vincent from Paris: "Now I must also tell you that the Independents’ exhibition is open and that in it there are your two paintings, ‘The Irises’ and the Starry night (over the Rhône, VGS). The latter is badly placed, for one can’t position oneself far enough away, as the room is very narrow, but the other one looks extremely well. They’ve placed it on the narrow side of the room and it strikes you from a long way...

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When did Vincent van Gogh live in The Yellow House in Arles?

      04-09-2021     Comments (0)

From 1 May 1888 Van Gogh rented 4 rooms of the The Yellow House to use as studio. From 1 September 1888 - March 1889 he lived in The Yellow House, except for when he was in hospital in December 1888 and again in January 1888. In March 1889, the police closed his house after a petition by 30 townspeople, who called him "fou roux" (the redheaded madman). On 8 May, Vincent left Arles for Saint-Rémy. Gauguin stayed with Van Gogh in the yellow House from 23 October - 25 December 1888. Today 133 years ago, on 4 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo: "How I’d like to set myself up so that I could have a home of my own! I never stop telling myself that if at the start we’d spent even 500 francs on furnishing, we would already have recouped all of it, and I would have furniture and I would...

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Did Van Gogh play an instrument?

      03-09-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent van Gogh played the piano in 1883-1885, when he lived in Nuenen. In 1890 he painted Marguerite Gachet at the Piano. It is possible that Vincent played piano for her then. Perhaps some Wagner? Today 133 years ago, on 3 September 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: “In a painting I’d like to say something consoling, like a piece of music. I’d like to paint men or women with that je ne sais quoi of the eternal, of which the halo used to be the symbol, and which we try to achieve through the radiance itself, through the vibrancy of our colorations.” Marguerite Gachet at the Piano ( Dr Gachet’s daughter) Auvers-sûr-Oise, 1890 Oil on canvas 102,5 x 50 cm Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland You may also like to read: Was Van Gogh inspired by music? Your...

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Did Van Gogh paint when he was ill?

      02-09-2021     Comments (0)

When Vincent Van Gogh was suffering from severe mental illness in Arles, he was in hospital and could not paint at all. Later though, when he was recovering in the asylum in Saint-Rémy, work actually helped him to feel better. Today 132 years ago, on 2 September 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "Yesterday I started working again a little – a thing I see from my window – a field of yellow stubble which is being ploughed, the opposition of the purplish ploughed earth with the strips of yellow stubble, background of hills. Work distracts me infinitely better than anything else, and if I could once really throw myself into it with all my energy that might possibly be the best remedy.” Enclosed Field with Ploughman Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, 1889 Oil on...

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Where did Van Gogh and Eugene Boch first meet?

      01-09-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh and Eugène Boch both painted in Paris, but they were introduced to each other later in Arles in 1888, by American post-impressionist Dodge MacKnight. Today 166 years ago, on 1 September 1855, the artist Eugene Boch (1 September 1855 - 3 January 1941) was born. Vincent van Gogh wrote to him only once, from Arles on 2 October 1888: "And lastly, a study of the Rhône, of the town under gaslight and reflected in the blue river. With the starry sky above — with the Great Bear — with a pink and green sparkle on the cobalt blue field of the night sky, while the light of the town and its harsh reflections are of a red gold and a green tinged with bronze. Painted at night.” Starry Night over the Rhône Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 72,5 x 92 cm Musée d’Orsay, Paris...

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Which vineyards did Vincent van Gogh paint?

      30-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh painted The Green Vineyard on 3 October 1888 and The Red Vineyard on 3 November 1888. Today 133 years ago, on 30 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from Arles: "We’ve had two or three glorious days here, very hot, with no wind. The grapes are beginning to ripen, but you hear people saying they won’t be good.” One month later Van Gogh painted 'The Green Vineyard' and two months later the famous ‘The Red Vineyard’ , which may be the only painting he ever sold. The Green Vineyard Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 72 x 92 cm Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands You may also like to read: Which wine did Van Gogh drink? Was The Red Vineyard really the only painting Van Gogh ever sold? Our hand-painted...

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What kind of models did Vincent van Gogh like to paint?

      29-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh preferred to paint characteristic types, who were often peasants and laborers such as farmers, weavers, and fishermen. Today 133 years ago, on 29 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles about Patience Escalier (‘The peasant’): "I have two models this week, an Arlésienne and the old peasant, whom I’m doing this time against a bright orange background, which, although it doesn’t pretend to represent a red sunset in trompe l’oeil, is perhaps a suggestion of it, all the same.” And one week later on 3 September 1888 he wrote: "I’d like to paint men or women with that je ne sais quoi of the eternal, of which the halo used to be the symbol, and which we try to achieve through the radiance itself, through the vibrancy of our colorations."...

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What kind of woman was Vincent van Gogh attracted to?

      28-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was attracted to intelligent women who had endured difficult lives. This extended to people looked down upon, including prostitutes, like Sien Hoornik. Today 138 years ago, between 23 and 29 August 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague about Sien Hoornik: "I feel more compassion for the woman than ever before because I see that she’s very unsettled. I believe that at the moment she has no better friend than me, who would sincerely help her more if she allowed me to. But she doesn’t seek my trust, and makes me absolutely powerless by giving her trust to those who are in fact her enemies. I truly believe that she doesn’t understand that there is evil in what she does — or doesn’t want to understand it, I sometimes think.” The Brothel Arles, 1888 Oil on...

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What did Van Gogh buy for his mother’s birthday?

      27-08-2021     Comments (0)

In 1877 Vincent van Gogh lived in Amsterdam. He hadn’t started his career as a painter yet, but was preparing for theology studies at the university. Van Gogh had already been working for the art dealers Goupil & Cie in London. To give his mother a painting would be too expensive. Read below what he could afford. Today 144 years ago, on 27 August 1877, Vincent van Gogh wrote from Amsterdam: "My dear Theo, It’s nearing Ma’s birthday, so I’m sending you herewith a money order for 1.23 1/2 guilders, because I’d very much like to give something together with you. It isn’t much, but it’s all I have; if you add the same amount to it then we can nonetheless get a good photograph.” Portrait of Van Gogh's Mother Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 40.5 × 32.5 cm Norton...

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Would a Van Gogh painting look good in your home?

      26-08-2021     Comments (0)

According to Vincent van Gogh a painting in a certain style should match the style of the house. Little did he know that especially his colorful paintings that he painted in France would be such a good match with many interiors 100 years after he died. Today 355 years ago, on 26 August 1666, Dutch artist Frans Hals died (1582 - 26 August 1666). Van Gogh was an admirer of his paintings and spent a lot of time researching his technique when he visited the Rijksmuseum in October 1885. On 9 June 1889 Vincent wrote to Theo van Gogh from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "When I see a painting that intrigues me, I can never help asking myself, ‘in what house, room, corner of the room, in whose home would it do well, would it be in its rightful place’. Thus the paintings of Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer are only at home...

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Which of Van Gogh’s sunflowers is the fourth version?

      24-08-2021     Comments (0)

In August 1888 Vincent van Gogh painted 4 versions of his sunflowers series:   First version: Three Sunflowers in a Vase, private collection Second version: Vase with 5 Sunflowers, destroyed Third version: Vase with 12 Sunflowers, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany Fourth version: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, National Gallery, London And in January 1889 Van Gogh copied the fourth version 3 times:   First copy: Vase with 12 Sunflowers, Philadelphia Museum of Art Second copy: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Third copy: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, Sompo Japan Museum of Art, Tokyo Today 133 years ago, on 24 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "I’m now on the fourth painting of sunflowers. This fourth one is a bouquet of 14 flowers and is on a...

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Were Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo best friends?

      23-08-2021     Comments (1)

Without doubt Vincent's brother Theo was his best friend. But even the best friendships have their dips. Today 137 years ago, on 23 August 1884, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Nuenen: "Please don’t think that I don’t want to remain good friends — but here it’s in the nature of the thing that it’s not possible; even if one were to try it, it still wouldn’t work. Anyway, it’s a situation that no one could do much about. I believe that your character has now set in a permanent mould — mine too — and the directions do not run parallel.” Their father Theodorus van Gogh tried to reassure Theo somewhat, and wrote the day before: "You will probably also receive a letter from V. I pray you don’t attach too much to it. He is evidently not well and...

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Which books did Vincent van Gogh read?

      22-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was an avid reader. His favorite author was probably Charles Dickens, but he also read Michelet, Carlyle, Daudet, Flaubert, Balzac, Maupassant, Zola, Keats, Eliot, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Hans Christian Andersen, and many others. "I’d wish that everyone had what I’m gradually beginning to acquire, the ability to read a book easily and quickly and to retain a strong impression of it. Reading books is like looking at paintings: without doubting, without hesitating, with self-assurance, one must find beautiful that which is beautiful." Today 132 years ago, on 22 August 1889, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: "Whilst not liking Rod’s book excessively, I’ve nevertheless done a canvas of that passage in which he speaks of the darkish mountains and...

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How many Sunflowers did Vincent van Gogh paint?

      21-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh painted: 4 paintings with cut sunflowers, all in Paris in 1887: Four Cut Sunflowers (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo) Two Cut Sunflowers (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) Two Cut Sunflowers (Kunstmuseum Bern) Two Cut Sunflowers (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) + 7 paintings with sunflowers in a vase, in Arles: Still Life: Vase with 5 Sunflowers, 1888 (Destroyed by fire in the Second World War) Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, 1888 (National Gallery, London) Still Life: Vase with 12 Sunflowers, 1888 (Neue Pinakothek, Munich) Three Sunflowers in a Vase, 1888 (Private collection, USA) Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, 1889 (Sompo Japan Museum of Art, Tokyo) Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers, 1889 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) Still Life: Vase with 12 Sunflowers, 1889 (Philadelphia Museum of...

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Was Vincent van Gogh poor?

      20-08-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent was financially supported by his younger brother Theo during his painting career. Theo sent him a lot more money than most people earned and Vincent had no children to take care of. Yet he often ran out of money as he spent a lot of money on canvas, paint and brushes to be able to produce nearly 900 paintings in 10 years time. Today 133 years ago, on 20 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "To be carefree, to hope that one of these days I’ll be freed from pennilessness: pure illusion. I’ll count myself well content to work for an allowance that’s just enough and my peace and quiet in my studio for the rest of my life.” Van Gogh probably sold just one painting during his life.. The Red Vineyard Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 75 x 93 cm Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts,...

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How do children look at a Van Gogh painting?

      19-08-2021     Comments (0)

The ' Van Gogh Museum Eye-Tracking Project ’ found out that kids focus on the brightest colors and the most obvious items, whereas adults initially see the more understated features of the painting. Children’s instinctive way of looking disappears when they know more about the background of the painting. Toddlers lack any knowledge of art. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the stories they make up when they see a Van Gogh painting? We will probably never find out how they percieve Starry Night. At least we can notice them enjoying art. Today 132 years ago, on 19 August 1889, postman Joseph Roulin wrote to his good friend Vincent van Gogh from Marseille: "Marcelle is ever more beautiful, she is walking all on her own, she talks like a little Parrot. I can tell you that I spent a pleasant fortnight with...

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