Conté crayons were invented by Nicolas-Jacques Conté in 1795 to solve the scarcity of graphite. Conté is compressed powdered graphite or charcoal mixed with a clay base. But Vincent van Gogh preferred the character of natural chalk.

Today 140 years ago, on 4 March 1883,

Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from The Hague:

"If you want to do me a very great favour, send me some pieces of natural chalk by post. That natural chalk has a soul and life — I find something dead in conté. Two violins may look more or less the same on the outside — when they’re played one sometimes turns out to have a beautiful sound that the other doesn’t have. Natural chalk has lots of sound or tone. I would almost say that natural chalk understands what one wants, listens with intelligence and obeys, while conté is indifferent and doesn’t cooperate. Natural chalk has a true gypsy soul. Send me some, if it isn’t asking too much of you.”

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Why was Van Gogh not a fan of conté crayons?Conté crayons were invented in 1795

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      04-03-2023 14:11     Comments ( 0 )
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