Arts Everyday Living: The Unknown Vincent—Have You Seen These Van Goghs?

Please click on the works of art to enlarge or enhance them.

 

 HAVE YOU SEEN THESE VAN GOGHS?

 

I own a wonderful book, The Complete Van Gogh by Jan Hulsker of more than 2100 reproductions by the Dutch master, which provides an incomparable overview of his artistic production.  So today I’d like to offer a selection of works that might not be as familiar (with a few exceptions like Dr. Gachet), especially the drawings and sketches, which are displayed according to the places where they were created.*

(Note: the quotes do not always coincide with the actual creation of the drawing or sketch.)

ETTEN (NETHERLANDS)

Painters understand nature and love it, and teach us to see.

Vincent, letter to his brother Theo, early January 1874

For make no mistake—much as I love landscape, I love figures even more.  Still, it’s the hardest part, and of course takes me a great deal of study and work and time too.

Vincent to Theo, July 23, 1882

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Farmer Sitting at the Fireside, 1881, charcoal, watercolor heightened with white, Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Netherlands

NUENEN (NETHERLANDS)

Come on, old chap, come and paint with me on the heath, in the potato field, come and walk with me behind the plough and the shepherd–come and stare into the fire with me—just let THE STORM THAT BLOWS ACROSS THE HEATH BLOW THROUGH YOU.

Vincent to Theo, October 15, 1883

 

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Trees and Windmill under Storm Clouds, black chalk heightened with white, 1885, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

I am now working on still lifes of my birds’ nests, and I’ve finished four of them.  I think that some people who know nature might well like them because of the colors of the moss, dry leaves and grasses, clay, etc.

Vincent to Theo, October 4, 1885

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Birds’ Nest, 1885, Sketch in letter, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

In any event—whether people like or don’t like what I do and how I do it, for my part I know no other way but to to wrestle with nature until such time as she reveals her secret.  I’m still working on various heads—hands—I’ve also drawn some more, perhaps you’ll see something in them—then again, perhaps, not. What can I do about it?  Again—I know no other way…..

Vincent to Theo, January 26, 1885, probably studies for The Potato Eaters

Van gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Hands, 1885, black chalk, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

ARLES (FRANCE)

…this part of the world seems to me to be as beautiful as Japan for the clearness of the atmosphere and gay color effects.  The stretches of water make patches of a beautiful emerald and a rich blue in the landscapes as we see in Japanese prints.

Vincent to artist Emile Bernard, March 18, 1888

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Drawbridge with Lady with Parasol, pen, 1888, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Drawbridge with Lady with Parasol, 1888, oil on canvas, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germary

 

LES SAINTES-MARIES-DE-LA-MER

You eat better fish here than beside the Seine—only there isn’t fish to eat every day, as the fishermen go off to Marseille.  But where there is some, it’s darned good.

Vincent to Theo, June 4, 1888

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Street in Saintes-Maries, 1888, reed pen, Private Collection

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Street in Saintes-Maries, 1888, oil?, Location Unknown

 SAINT-REMY (FRANCE)

Now Egyptian art, for example, what makes it extraordinary, is it not that those calm, serene kings, wise and gentle, patient, good, seem unable to be other than they are; eternally farmers who worship the sun.

Vincent to Theo, June 9, 1889

_

Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, Head of an Egyptian King, 1889, blue chalk, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

AUVERS (FRANCE)

I’ve seen Dr. Gachet, who gave me the impression of being rather eccentric, but his doctor’s experience must keep him balanced himself while combating the nervous ailment for which it seems to me he’s certainly suffering at least as seriously as I am.

Vincent to Theo, May 20, 1890

Vincent van Gogh,

Vincent van Gogh, Dr. Gachet 1890, Sketch in letter, Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dr. Gachet

Vincent van Gogh, Dr. Gachet, 1890, oil on canvas, Private Collection?

 

For the sources of this blog, see: Van Gogh and the Cypresses of SaintRemy, September 29 and September 30.

The above images are used solely for educational purposes.

 

 

 

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