Saturday, December 10, 2016

Van Gogh

I've been thinking about Vincent Van Gogh and his very sad life, which is mysterious to me. In the last couple of years I have been to two places associated with him. I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, which attempts to offer insight into his experience, and which presents him as a person possessing talent, determination, and discipline. The message I took from the museum is that Van Gogh was deeply troubled, but overcame his mental and personal problems in order to develop his craft and create a large body of works of great genius. Despite his failure to sell his work or receive conventional recognition, he had a number of friends in the art world, such as Gaugin, who did seem to admire his talent somehow.

Last spring, in Arles, France, I visited a few places where Van Gogh painted, notably the asylum where he was sometimes confined. I've written about it before, but I find myself returning to thoughts of Van Gogh and his tragic end.

Van Gogh's sketch of the garden of the asylum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. From the museum website.
Photo from the window of the room where Van Gogh stayed
at the asylum, looking down into the garden. From our visit there.
The garden of the asylum.
Van Gogh's painting of the trees near the asylum. From the Museum website.
Trees near the asylum.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I saved this post just to spend more time with it. The illustrations of his paintings and your own photos really help tell the story. Did you see the "Secrets of the Dead" program a week or two ago called "Van Gogh's Ear"? I missed some of it and hope it is still on demand for another day or two. But what I saw, quite mesmerizing.