|Red Vineyards Near Arles, 1888|
The one painting Van Gogh sold.
Perhaps the greatest artist who ever lived took this advice too literally.
Having spent spent ten years on his craft, sketching and painting over two thousand art pieces, unable to sell more than one painting, it is generally believed that Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in despair, perhaps while he was ill. Astonishingly, the oil paintings we know him by were done in a five year period. There are over 800 of them. During this time, his brother Theo, an art dealer, supported him, as did other artists, though they could not find buyers for his work.
|Self-Portrait, 1889 (Inset, Vincent at 18)|
Whichever it was, I know one thing. Early on, Vincent was not the melancholy spirit I had always believed him to be. I've been reading his letters, and have found that he was a very happy, enthusiastic young man. He was not a revolutionary painter who wanted to redefine the art world. He was always speaking of the great artists who had come before, as well as his voracious search for new artists. He was not a genius who disdained the talent of others. In January of 1874, while in London, Vincent wrote to Theo about his (Theo's) new interest in art:
I'm glad you like Millet, Jacque, Schreyer, Lambinet, Frans Hals, etc., for as Mauve says, "That's it." That painting by Millet, L'angules du soir, "that's it," indeed- that's magnificent, that's poetry. How I wish I could have another talk with you about art; but we'll just have to keep writing to each other about it. Admire as much as you can; most people don't admire enough.
And so I offer these works of Van Gogh, for all to admire. If you are interested in reading more about Van Gogh, Delphi Classics has a great ebook collection of his work (all of his paintings) as well as a biography by Van Gogh's sister-in-law, and over 800 of his personal letters. It can be viewed on your browser, so you can see all of his paintings in color. The collection is $2.99. Find it here.
|Prisoners Exercising, 1890|
|Backyards of Old Houses in Antwerp, 1885|
|Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, 1889|
|Girl in the Street, Two Coaches in the Background, 1882|
|Crab (Upside Down), 1889|