Inside the Artist’s mind: A day with Van Gogh

One of the most exiting experiences is touching up the history of this or that painting. That’s why the artists’ diaries and letters are priceless. We know  a lot about Vincent van Gogh  from his correspondence with his brother Theo. On this day in 1888 the painter wrote:

vangogh-01“I have just painted my own portrait, in the same ashen colouring, and unless we are painted in colour, the result is nowhere near a speaking likeness. Just because I had taken a terrific amount of trouble to get the combination of ashen and grey-pink tones, I could not like the portrait in black and white. Would Germinie Lacerteux really be Germinie Lacerteux without her colour? Obviously not. How I would like to have painted portraits of her own family.

For the second time I have scraped off a study of Christ with the angel in the Garden of Olives. You see, I can see real olives here, but I cannot or rather I will not paint any more without models; but I have the thing in my head with the colours, a starry night, the figure of Christ in blue, all the strongest blues, and the angel blended citron-yellow. And every shade of violet, from a blood-red purple to ashen, in the landscape.”

And this was the day, when this portrait was born!

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