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Response to CTyankee (Original post)

Fri Feb 13, 2015, 06:29 PM

8. Just spent a month with Vincent via the Naifeh/White Smith bio

900 pages...most of them pretty thrilling actually. Vincent was exhausting and exhaustive. The absence and/or inability of anyone other than his brother, who kept his distance, to form an enduring relationship with him was heartbreaking at times. As if by way of compensation, he never shined more than when others were suffering; coal miners in the north of France where he preached or his mother when she broke her hip. In fact, that's when he started drawing landscapes (rather than people), so she could see the outside world. His famous pollard branches sketch, which was probably the first true indication of his greatness, was done then.

It is such an improbable story; he didn't even turn to art until he was 27. Ten almost always frustrating and rejection-filled years later, he was gone. No one praised him critically until January of 1890 and, by the end of July, he was dead.

Starry Night is seen by many as the birth of abstract painting; it was obviously way ahead of its time. Theo saw it and said, cut that out, get back to realism because I need to sell this stuff! Of course, it would become his most famous and best loved work.

RIP Vincent and Theo. It's the best story ever. Really.

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