Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Late December Canals and Van Gogh

Completed today, two views of the same stretch of the canal, the first 12 x 24 in oil, and the top 9x12 in pastel.

Lately, I have been reading the new biography of Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. One reviewer claimed it read like a novel, but if you have held a romantic view of Van Gogh, read his letters and saw the movie Lust for Life as a teenager, then you may find this biography tough going. Not because the book's not well done, but because it may challenge your view of Van Gogh. He must have had a personality disorder of some kind hindering his ability to behave normally. Of course, if he had been a normal person, we would not have the great art that he created in the last four years of his life. He really did suffer enormously. I am only up to year 1881 so far. He was fluent in English and French (self-taught) besides his native Dutch. Multi-lingual people are usually highly-gifted.

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