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 believe that if one is willing...

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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 not possible to determine exactly which...

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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 times. This is one of the 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 music, and then above all for singing...

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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 here, who can’t do...

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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.” Path in the Park Arles, 1888 Oil on canvas 72,3 x 93 cm...

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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 sphere. And were also not to be persuaded,...

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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 colours have the richness and...

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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 Gogh Museum Amsterdam You may also like to read: What did Van Gogh...

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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 you can’t make out the nature of the tone...

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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 right: Bridge in the Rain Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890) Paris, October-November...

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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 Goupil & Cie. And in January 1875 he...

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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 Rembrandt from Theo and painted: The...

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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 Oil in canvas 55.1 x 66.2 cm Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany...

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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 painter Vincent van Gogh in 1890. Theo died half a year...

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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 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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