Frank letters from Van Gogh on display: ‘I feel a failure’ | NOW

We know Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) as a great painter, but the post-impressionist also liked to write and sent countless letters to family and friends, especially his brother Theo. Forty of these letters are included in the new exhibition Your loving Vincent of the Van Gogh Museum. lists a number of quotes.

To Theo about his financial situation:

“It is true that I have lost the trust of several people, it is true that my financial affairs are sad, it is true that the future looks pretty bleak, it is true that I could have done better, it is It is true that I have lost time just to earn my living, it is true that in my studies itself it is quite sad and hopeless, and that I am more, infinitely more inadequate than I have. do that nothing? “

“I’ve lived the way I could, as best I could.”

Vincent van Gogh, painter

To fellow painter Anthon van Rappard:

“The work in question, painting the peasants, is so hard work that the extremely weak will not even start on it. And at least I started it and laid certain foundations, which is not exactly the easiest. of the job! And in drawing and in painting I have some solid and useful things, more firmly than you think my dear friend. But I still make what I can’t yet learn to be able to do. “

“I consider love – as well as friendship – not only as a feeling, but above all as an action.”

Vincent van Gogh, painter

To Theo:

“I don’t know the future, Theo, but I do know the eternal law that everything changes. Think back ten years and things were different, the situations, the mood of the people, everything. And ten years later there is certainly a lot going on. But doing something continues – and having done something, one does not regret it. The more active, the better and I would rather have a failure than a sitting still. “

To his brother Theo and his wife Jo, written from the institution, a year before his death:

“I think I did well to go here. First of all, because now that I see the reality of the lives of the various madmen and fools in this zoo, I am losing the vague fear, the fear of it.”

One of the letters to his brother Theo with a sketch of The Potato Eaters. (Image: Van Gogh Museum)

To Theo and Jo, in the year before his death. Van Gogh feels threatened because his brother opens his own art shop:

“I feel like a failure, that’s it as far as I am concerned, I feel that that’s the fate I accept and it won’t change.”

Your loving Vincent can be viewed at the Van Gogh Museum from 9 October to 10 January 2021.


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