Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 in the Netherlands and died 37 years later, in 1890 in France. Born to a minister father and an artist mother, he worked towards being a priest but then rejected the structure of the church. Instead he moved to a beleaguered coal mine town to minister in the south of Belgium and was called, “Christ of the Coal Mines.”
Vincent traveled from country to country, place to place, looking for a sense of peace within himself. He turned to painting for solace and fought with his inner demons who were reflected in the eyes of the villagers wherever he lived. In a decade’s time he created 2100 artworks, including 43 self-portraits. He found himself in and out of asylums by choice and decree in the last years of his life. He painted “Starry Night” and “Irises” while in an asylum.
Towards the end, van Gogh moved in with Dr. Gachet, who lived twenty miles north of Paris. Some say he shot himself in the chest. Others say he was shot by one of two young men. His younger brother, Theo, who sold art in Paris and who steadfastly supported him over the years, died six months later in a Dutch asylum. Johanna, Theo’s widow, made sure Theo was buried next to Vincent, in Auvers.
Johanna, who believed in Vincent, began to collect his paintings. She discovered many had been destroyed. Vincent’s own mother had thrown out crates of his work. It was only after his death that appreciation for Vincent’s art blossomed. In 2013, one of his paintings was discovered in the attic of a person who thought it was counterfeit.
Shunned across borders,
Tortured, he turned pain to paint.
Silent screams: “See me!”
Reena Saxena is the host of Reena’s Exploration Challenge. Reena says:
Use or don’t use one or more of the following oxymorons in your piece
- silent scream
- open secret
- disgustingly delicious
- awfully lucky
- unbiased opinion
You may choose not to use the word, but let the meaning reflect in your piece. It can be a theme. As usual, there is no restriction on length or format of the piece.