How did Vincent van Gogh travel?

      03-10-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was born in 1853 and died in 1890. He traveled a lot. Not only within The Netherlands, but also to England, Belgium and France. There were no cars and no planes, so he took the boat to England, a train from Paris to Arles, went in a coach from Arles to paint the Mediterranean in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. And traveled on a barge in Drenthe, enjoying the view of the heath. Today 138 years ago, on 3 October 1883, Vincent van Gogh wrote from Nieuw-Amsterdam (countryside not Amsterdam): "My dear Theo, This time I’m writing to you from the very back of beyond in Drenthe, where I arrived after an endless trip through the heath on the barge. I see no way of describing the countryside to you as it should be done, because words fail me. But imagine the banks of the canal as miles and miles of Michels or T....

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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. Vincent wrote to his sister Willemien on 14 September 1888: "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 clearly. But it’s...

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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 (0)

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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Did Vincent van Gogh dream about stars?

      18-08-2021     Comments (0)

Not only Van Gogh quotes like: "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” show his fascination with stars. Van Gogh's 'Starry Night', 'Starry Night over the Rhône' and 'Cafe Terrace at Night' have become world famous paintings with stars.  Van Gogh even decoreated his 'Portrait of Eugéne Boch’ with mysterious stars! Today 133 years ago, on 18 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from Arles: "I exaggerate the blond of the hair, I come to orange tones, chromes, pale lemon. Behind the head — instead of painting the dull wall of the mean room, I paint the infinite. I make a simple background of the richest, most intense blue that I can prepare, and with this simple combination, the...

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Would Vincent van Gogh have been a bitcoiner?

      17-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was well aware of the tulip bubble that took place 216 years before he was born. Would he compare bitcoin with a bubble? If Vincent had known about the stock-to-flow model that explains scarcity (S2F = existing stock / flow of yearly production), he would have understood bitcoin is nothing like the tulip mania. With its fixed supply (there will only be a maximum of 21 million bitcoin, ever) and its halving of production speed (mining) every four years, Van Gogh would have figured out bitcoin's deflationary nature. Try that with tulips. So yes Vincent and his brother Theo would probably have been bitcoiners! Today 136 years ago, on 17 August 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Nuenen: "And I wish you were, or would become, a painter. I put it bluntly, more strongly than before, because I...

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For whom did Vincent van Gogh paint the Blossoming Almond Tree?

      16-08-2021     Comments (0)

In 1890 Van Gogh painted “ Blossoming Almond Tree ” for his newly born nephew, and namesake, Vincent Willem van Gogh. His brother Theo deciding to name his son after Van Gogh shows again how deeply his love and respect ran. Today 132 years ago, on 16 August 1889, Jo van Gogh-Bonger (Theo’s pregnant wife) wrote to Vincent van Gogh from Paris: "You don’t know how often you are thought about and spoken of. Ma wrote, too, that she was longing for another letter from you — do you know what Cor brought me from her this morning? — a pair of the sweetest little socks for our little boy (for I still insist that it will be a little boy — even if you mock me for it!).” Blossoming Almond Tree Saint-Rémy de Provence, 1890 Oil on canvas 73,5 x 92 cm Van Gogh Museum,...

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Was Vincent van Gogh inspired by Eugène Delacroix?

      15-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was not only inspired by Delacroix, he even copied his ‘ Pieta’ . In his own way.. Today 136 years ago, on 15 August 1885, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Anthon van Rappard from Nuenen: "Have you heard much about Eugène Delacroix? I’ve read a splendid article about him by Silvestre…. ...Delacroix writes to a friend: ‘the chapel where I painted my Pietà was so dark that at first I didn’t know how to paint so as to make my painting speak. So I was forced to paint the shadows in Christ’s dead body with Prussian blue, the lights with pure chrome yellow’. Here the writer adds, ‘one has to be Delacroix to dare do that’." And in 1889 Van Gogh copied Delacroix’ “Pieta" in his own style. Pieta Saint-Rémy, 1889...

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Did Vincent van Gogh and Django Reinhardt inspire each other?

      12-08-2021     Comments (0)

Gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt (1910 - 1953) wasn’t born yet when Van Gogh painted " Encampment of Gypsies with Caravans ”. A creative soul like Vincent would probably have liked Django’s improvisations though. Not many people know that guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt also was a good painter, inspired by... Vincent van Gogh. And how many people know that Van Gogh... took piano lessons! Today 133 years ago, on 12 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo from Arles: "At the moment we have a very glorious, powerful heat here, with no wind, which suits me very well. Sunshine, a light which, for want of a better word I can only call yellow — pale sulphur yellow, pale lemon, gold. How beautiful yellow is!” "And a little study of a halting-place of fairground...

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Why did Vincent van gogh find drawing important?

      11-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh believed drawing would benefit his painting skills. Drawing was cheap compared with painting. And when the mistral wind was too fierce to put up his easel, drawing on paper tacked on board was no problem. Today 139 years ago, on 11 August 1882, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother from The Hague. This was at the beginning of his painting career: "Now I would like quietly to amass a good number of painted studies to hang in my studio without referring to this as a change. And should anyone express surprise at seeing painted work by me, to say: Well, did you think I had no feeling for that or couldn’t do it? But I’ve put a lot of work into drawing and will continue to do so, because it’s the backbone of painting, the skeleton supporting everything else.” And one day later: "When...

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How dependent was Vincent van Gogh on the weather to paint?

      09-08-2021     Comments (0)

As Van Gogh preferred to paint outside he had to deal with rain and snow, but also with wind. The strong Mistral wind in the South of France would often make it very hard for Vincent to paint. Today 133 years ago, on 9 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote from Arles to his brother: "I think it’s likely that we’re going to have great heat now, with no wind, the wind having blown for 6 weeks. In that case, it’s excellent that I have colours and canvases in stock, because I can already spot half a dozen subjects, especially this little farmhouse garden of which I sent you the drawing yesterday.” Garden at Arles Arles, July 1888 Oil on canvas 82,8 x 102,0 cm Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands You may also like to read: What were the original colors of Van Gogh's paintings?...

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How important were colors to Vincent van Gogh?

      08-08-2021     Comments (0)

Van Gogh was hoping to find warm and bright light in the South of France as in the Japanese prints that he collected in Paris. And he was extremely happy to see it was actually true. Today 133 years ago, on 8 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to Theo van Gogh from Arles: "This vertical small farmhouse garden is superbly coloured in reality. The dahlias are a rich and dark purple, the double row of flowers is pink and green on one side and orange almost without greenery on the other. In the middle a low, white dahlia and a little pomegranate tree, with flowers of the most brilliant orange red, yellow-green fruit, the ground grey, the tall reeds — ‘canes’ — of a blue green, the fig trees emerald, the sky blue, the houses white with green windows, red roofs. In full sun in the morning, in the evening...

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Why was Van Gogh so happy with his friend Postman Joseph Roulin?

      05-08-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent and Joseph Roulin were not only good drinking friends. Roulin worked at the railway station where Van Gogh sent his paintings to his brother in Paris. And on top of that, Roulin turned out to be a topmodel! Today 133 years ago, on 5 August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his friend Emile Bernard: "I’ve just made a portrait of a postman — or rather, two portraits even — Socratic type, no less Socratic for being something of an alcoholic, and with a high colour as a result. His wife had just given birth, the good fellow was glowing with satisfaction. He’s a fierce republican, like père Tanguy. Goddamn, what a subject to paint à la Daumier, eh? He was getting too stiff while posing, and that’s why I painted him twice, the second time at a single sitting, on white canvas,...

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How did Vincent van Gogh support his brother Theo?

      04-08-2021     Comments (0)

Vincent was financially and emotionally supported by his young brother Theo. But at the same time Theo needed their strong brotherhood as much as Vincent. Vincent’s letters meant a lot to Theo. Today 132 years ago, on 4 August 1889, Theo van Gogh wrote from Paris to his brother Vincent in the Asylum in Saint-Rémy: "In your last letter you wrote that we are brothers for more than one reason. I feel that too, and even if my heart isn’t as sensitive as yours, I can sometimes imagine the distress that you feel because of so many thoughts that aren’t resolved. Don’t lose heart, and remember that I need you so much. Jo sends her best wishes for your recovery. I hope that you’ll soon be able to send good reports.” Without doubt Vincent van Gogh's younger brother Theo was his best...

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