Vincent van Gogh portrait painted by John Peter Russell in 1886. Currently maintained at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
I can't change the fact
that my paintings don't sell.
But the time will come
when people will recognize
that they are worth more than the value
of the paints used in the picture.
He was thirty-seven years old, financially supported by an ailing brother and had produced more than eight hundred paintings which no one wanted to buy. (It is believed during his entire career he sold only one - The Red Vineyard - which he painted in 1888 and Anna Boch, also an artist, purchased in 1890.)
At dusk on Sunday, the 27th of July, Vincent walked to one of the fields in Auvers-sur-Oise. What happened there abruptly cut short the life of an artist whose paintings today are among the most sought-after - and valuable - in the world.
Who was Vincent? How did he develop his talent? What are we to make of his artistic drive which often propelled him to work at a maniacal pace?
Perhaps we can learn something about the man by examining his letters and paintings. Let’s take a look.
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