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:
“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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