Arts Everyday Living: Vincent van Gogh’s Love of Nature—Expressing the Soul of a Bird

Vincent van Gogh, Kingfisher by the Waterside, Paris, July-August, 1887, oil on canvas, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation), Netherlands


Title: Kingfisher by the Waterside, 1887

Artist: Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)


Kingfisher–A small brightly colored bird with a long pointed beak, that lives near rivers and lakes and eats fish.   Cambridge Dictionary

Vincent van Gogh loved nature, recreating the almost fragile looking bird above with the royal name, a regular occupant of the waterside. Depicted with tenderness, from its diminutive feet to the multi-colored feathers to the substantial beak. Vincent miraculously conveying the spirit of this avian soul perched before us through the Kingfisher’s tiny eye.

Yet, how did the artist position himself in such close proximity to his subject without scaring him away? The answer might be, according to the Van Gogh Museum, that Vincent owned a model he could easily copy.







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