Van Gogh – art and angst

Happy birthday to a glorious nutter!

A Very Fine Library

Wheat Field with Cypresses, Saint-Remy, Oil on Canvas, 1889Wheat Field with Cypresses, Saint-Remy, Oil on Canvas, 1889

Vincent Van Gogh, that glorious nutter, was born today in 1853. He died at the age of 37 after a short life filled with genius and despair.

Some years ago I read Martin Gayford’s book The Yellow HouseVan Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Provence. This excellent work uses old letters to reconstruct the few months Van Gogh spent living and working with Paul Gauguin in a house in Arles. I was left with the overriding feeling that Van Gogh wanted nothing more in life than to be loved and understood (I can so relate to that).

101407Vincent invited Gauguin to stay because he deeply admired his work and imagined he could learn much from the older man. In preparation for Gaugin’s arrival at the Yellow House, Vincent painted his iconic Sunflowers series just to decorate the walls of Gauguin’s room! But Van Gogh’s mental illness made…

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