Note: The names in the left column below are also e-mail links. If you wish to write to the person, just click on their name.
|Maria Giannuzzi||About 2002 I saw a documentary film (the subject I believe was Vincent Van Gogh). At the end of the documentary, there was a scene taken from Akira Kurosawa’s film, Dreams. The scene included in the documentary was from the vignette Crows, in which an art student enters Van Gogh’s painting Wheat Field with Crows. Does anyone know of this documentary? I can find no reference on the internet. Thank you.||None yet.|
|Mandy||Does anyone have any information about the French painter Jeanne Donnadieu? There may be a Van Gogh connection.||None yet.|
|Kevin Frank||Kevin has some questions about a recently discovered photograph that may be a portrait of Van Gogh.||
Ed Everest replies:
My first impression on seeing the photo is that the resemblance between the painting and the portrait is so remarkable that it suggests there is some direct and intimate connection between the photo and the painting. It doesn't simply look like a photo taken of Vincent in the same period as the portrait was painted - it looks like a photo taken on the same day, at the time of the sitting, or perhaps a mirror image of the original was made and used to aid in painting the portrait. Or perhaps one or other is a fake (most likely the photo) made from the other.
There's a very good article on the photo in question, and whether Vincent used optical aids for some of his portraits, here:
and another here:
The evidence presented in these articles suggests that the photo of Vincent is genuine, and that he used some kind of optical aid for some of his portraits.
Preston comments: "I was wanting to reply to the post about the newest photograph. This photograph is clearly not Vincent, I think. Many people resemble each other. Sometimes to the point of very clear features. While there may be some strong resemblance of feature compared with the photograph and the self portraits, I feel that the photograph and the portraits look completely different, and they look like different souls.
The photograph looks of a man who has not seen the struggles of Vincent. Vincent was unkempt, rugged, eccentric, worn down, etc., and this photograph does not represent any of that. The man in the photograph looks larger and not as thin as Vincent also. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could think that the photograph is Vincent?
Once again, the photograph and the self portraits are completely opposite in a whole."
|Ferdinand Schulz||Dear friends, Im interested in all things,that refers to van Gogh. I copie van Gogh paintings for more than 25 years,I visit the large exhibitions that takes place and read a lot about van Gogh. It would be nice to find some people to talk to.The 150.anniversary of van Gogh in 2003 was the reason to make my own website "www.van-gogh-in-meschede.de". All I do on this subject is nothing but hobby.
I am German, 58 years, male
My adress is: Ferdinand Schulz / Kaiser Ottoplatz 5 / 59872 MESCHEDE / E-mail :
I hope to get some replys-my best regard - Ferdi Schulz please excuse my faulty Enlish.
|Paul Beresford||In May/June of 2004 on UK TV (Channel 4) there was a three part documentary series called simply "Vincent". It explored the life and times of Vincent and was absolutely superb. You can guess whats coming next . . .
I never really bothered to record a copy of it and have since been to Arles and Paris and have become fascinated and obsessed by his works, thus I am DESPERATE to obtain a copy of this series somehow . . . .
I've tried telephoning the TV company responsible and I've have had no luck. Can anybody help me????
My contact address is: email@example.com
|Jill B.||Unfortunately I no longer have my notes but very much hope that someone can help me. I remember, very well, being fascinated by a chance mention in my research. A group, foundation, club, formed by or with Van Gogh following his breakaway from the Salon was named the Beehive, or perhaps Bijenkorf, so I read. Frustratingly I cannot now find any mention anywhere whatsoever of this. Yet I know without a doubt that somewhere I have read this. At the time I was studying Hardy's Tess of the Durbevilles. His constant reference to bees, hives and honey used as a motif throughout the novel intrigued me and I fully intended following up this apparent coincidence/link between the novel and Van Gogh. Can anyone assist?||None yet.|
|Bert van Vliet||Vincent and my great-great-grandfather Willem Leurs.|
For over two years now I am researching the life and work of the Hague School painter Johannes Karel (Jan) Leurs (1865-1938), my great-grandfather mother's side . . . . . . [more]
|Bruce McMillan||The last few weeks I am looking for a summarised biography of the Dutch artist Anton Hirschig who stayed in the Ravoux Inn, next to Vincent in 1890, I am rather curious to know what he did with his life after Auvers ... there is so little information provided from him.||William Boyd replies.|
|Adam Dutkiewicz||My father was a refugee Pole who passed through Murnau in 1945 and talked with Gabrielle Munter. He related to me a story from that conversation about Kandinsky's fascination with Van Gogh and how he wanted to write a biography, involving a new interpretation of the artist's work which was inspired by a Van Gogh painting of a cow giving birth. The painting, as I recall, was in the mental institution with him, and may have been destroyed. Was there any such controversy that you are aware of or does this ring any bells?||None yet.|
|Carl v.d. Hoogen||The past months I've been busy investigating the roots of a painting which is in my opinion an early work of Vincent van Gogh. The results of this research are presented in my website.
I thought this might be of interest for some Van Gogh enthusiasts. Also I'm looking for opinions on the subject and just maybe some specialist knowledge.
Please take a look at my site and share your thoughts with me.
|Adam Selzer||I would love to see a Van Gogh book in which the paintings were photographed at an angle, or with the paintings illuminated from different angles. Every Van Gogh I've seen in a museum absolutely comes alive when the light reflects off of the texture. (I could go on for hours), yet most of the books and prints I've seen try to keep any light, and, in many cases, any texture, from showing, which frustrates me immensly. To whom could I suggest this project?||
Manfred Moolhuysen comments:
End 2000-early 2001 there was a special exhibition in the "Van Gogh Museum" in Amsterdam. It was called "Licht" (Light) and featured the influence of the technological devellopment of light sources on art making and art appreciation. This exhibition also run in the "Carnegie Museum of Art" in Pittsburg, early summer 2001.
The special website for this exposition is still up:
The catalog of the exhibition featured a free CD-ROM containing four interactive experiments with influence of light as subject. A simple form of one of those experiments can be executed through the website. On page http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/light/english/index.html click on the link "EXPERIMENT" at the top right of the page. A new frame opens with the large letters "Light!" in it. Click on this word to begin.
During the exhibition this experiment could be experienced in reality. The real painting "Gauguin's Chair" was shown in a special box where the illumination alternately simulated light from candle, oil-or-kerosine lamp, gaslight, the electric arc and the electric incandelecence bulb. It revealed that in Van Gogh's own time paintings must have been viewed under very different illumination circumstances as the ones we are used to (I believe that most exhibitions where viewed during the evening). So, in the 19th century both painters and art viewers probably had a quite different colour perception of paintings.
|David Rodgers||I am trying to find the title of a book and the author which was written about the time Van Gogh was alive or shortly thereafter. It was called "The Jesus of the Coalfields" or something similar and a search has not brought any results.||David Brooks writes: "You might be thinking of Ken Wilkie's book In Search of Van Gogh in which the third chapter is entitled 'The Christ of the Coalmine'."|
|Roelof van Holthe||In some of the letters which you published, Vincent mentions a painter named Duchâtel. Do you know by any chance more about that painter?||Bert van Vliet responds: "I am sure this must have been Fred van Rossum du Chattel (1856-1917), shortly Fred J. du Chattel or just Fred du Chattel. My gr-grandfather, Jan Leurs, probably did know him well. Having been a tile-maker/painter too - before becoming a full-professional (canvas-)painter - Jan Leurs had made tiles with images 'after' amongst others Fred du Chattel."|
|Robert Marino||In the '80s I came across a book on Van Gogh that began with a quotation, at the top of the first page, by Theodor Adorno that talked about how for the artist there is a need to reveal coupled with a need to conceal. The quote ends with the words "This tension is the climate of art." Does anyone know the book in question?||None yet.|
|Don Frey||I was wondering how long Kee Vos lived and if she had any later observations about her cousin Vincent. Also the same question applied to Tersteeg. It would be interesting if you got some further information on this matter. Tersteeg was such a thorn to Vincent for a time. And he was so convinced of vincent's worthlessness. It would be interesting to find out if a character like he could be convinced that he was wrong or if he would stubbornly deny Vincent's brilliance in light of all the evidence.||None yet.|
|David Thomson of Keppel Sands, via Rockhampton, Australia||Hello, and thanks for the opportunity to ask a question.
I am a teacher of young children. I am modelling how to research topics of interest. I have found answers to the straightforward questions about incidents and names of works, etc, but one of my research questions is "Why is Van Gogh famous, especially when it seems that he was not well known when he was alive?" I would like to be able to provide a relatively simple answer to the children (some as young as 6 years old), but realize that maybe the issue is not that simple. Thanks to anyone who may be able to help.
|Janet G. Smith replies: "THE ART! The world owes Johanna van Gogh Bonger gratitude. Johanna opened the world's eyes to Vincent's art. The world saw Vincent's art through the exhibitions and sales organized by Johanna. The letters Johanna organized and published told Vincent's story. A story of two brothers sacrifice, creation and talent. Through his art the artist lives."|
|Adam||The subject of the possibly fake Van Gogh painting by Schuffenecker is very interesting. Any more info on Schuffenecker? He sounds like quite a character. How long was it after Van Gogh's death that he was finally recognized? It seems that by 1901 someone must have recognized his genius.||
Jose Navarro shares some interesting information in two languages:
|David Brooks||I have a family tree of the Roulin family from Arles. It shows Armand as having been born in 1875, but this would make him 13 when Van Gogh painted the two portraits of him. He looks considerably older than this. When exactly was Armand born?||Enrique Pareja from Mexico has some evidence that the family tree may be wrong.
"See the book Van Gogh by Meyer Shapiro (Exeter Books, 1983, pg. 86-87): 'Turning to the postman's son, a boy of seventeen, Van Gogh changes the terms of its painting.'
Also, see Vincent's letter to Theo, number 560 (November, 1888): 'But I have made portraits of a whole family, that of the postman whose head I had done previously--the man, his wife, the baby, the little boy, and the son of sixteen.'"
|Peter Harris||Does anyone know what types (and if possible, brands) of brushes Vincent used?||Coturnix from Croatia comments: "In a letter to his brother Theo in the year 1885, Vincent wrote that he 'ordered some colours from Schoenfeld'. LUKAS artist materials from Germany is the brand name of Schoenfeld and maybe he can find more about it on their pages."|
|Jane Tomlinson from England||I find it inconceivable that Theo, who catalogued Vincent's letters so carefully, would not have kept his own correspondence to Vincent as part of his personal effects when he had to clear the things in Vincent's room at the Auberge Ravoux. I have never seen any of Theo's writings, so it is hard to see what his state of mind may have been.||Jose Navarro points out that both Paul Gauguin and Vincent's
brother, Theo, commented on the incredible state of disorder of Vincent's lodgings. Jose adds: So it is possible that Theo's letters were not carefully kept by Vincent. Nevertheless Jan Hulsker, in his book "Vincent van Gogh: A Guide to His Works and Letters" cites 42 letters written by Theo, though some of them, only a few, were signed by his wife Jo.
David Brooks adds: I'm pleased to say that I recently completed the addition Online of the last of all of the known letters written from Theo to Vincent van Gogh.
|Gwendol Bowling||I've been doing some thinking and a tad of research. Have you ever considered the possibility of the fear expressed by the townspeople regarding Vincent's behavior and their cries to have him institutionalized might have had to do with the state of world events? I can not help but consider the proximity of the Jack the Ripper murders . . . . approximately 31 August through at least 9 November 1888 (coinciding with Gauguin's visit). There are murders attributed to Jack the Ripper into a couple of years later, but this is highly debatable. Regardless, this was the first serial killer to receive world press due to the new growth of the information age of the time. Furthermore, it is only in hindsight that we are able to better place a date to the end of the terror, which was quite real at the time. The fact that Vincent took a razor to himself (and possibly threatened Gauguin with a razor, as well) and then presented himself in such a state to a prostitute (of all possible choices) would have indeed raised more hysteria in light of the current Ripper slashings. Hence, is it not also possible that the seeming obsession with the ear incident has more to do with the subliminal synchronicity of the times, rather than the horror of the incident? I also find it interesting that in the letters, specifically 533, which is dated 8 September 1888, which would be during the height of the Ripper hysteria, Vincent actually discusses ruin, madness, and, my heavenly days! Crime! . . . . all describing the emotional setting of a BLOOD-RED room in a night-cafe!!! Talk about timing!!!! Some accounts even have him presenting the ear in a newspaper, rather than a handkerchief. If so, it would have been possible that the newspaper headline would have been even more discordant, and even frightening in such close juxtaposition to a severed portion of an ear, since the Ripper seemed to take bodily parts and had even sent a kidney from a victim to the newspapers . . . . just thoughts.||Jennifer Harvey comments: Gwendol might find the article by Martin Bailey in Apollo Sept. 2005 "Drama at Arles: New Light on Van Gogh's mutilation" of interest. He discusses a murder closer to home currently in the papers -- and the execution of the murderer that Gauguin attends immediately on his return to Paris.|
|Jerry Romanek||In the 1970 Catalogue Raisonné (p. 148) de la Faille thought that
Self-Portrait (F 296, JH 1210) is really Theo van Gogh! See page 239 in Jan Hulsker's Vincent and Theo Van Gogh: A Dual Biography or page 177 in S.A. Stein's Van Gogh, A Retrospective. What do you think?
Isn't it strange that Vincent never painted his brother and support!
David Brooks notes: Actually, Hulsker in his 1996 Catalogue Raisonné (p. 252) maintains that the sketch Head of a Man (F 1244dr, JH 1158) is probably Theo van Gogh. Jerry's question remains, however--when Vincent was often so desperate for subjects, why are paintings of Theo so conspicuously absent?
|Bob Harrison comments: In response to Jerry Romanek's query about why Vincent never(?) painted Theo, you only have to look at his preferred method. Vincent loved to paint from the subject; indeed, I get the impression that some of the problems that were experienced at Arles were because Gauguin insisted that Vincent "paint from memory." The only opportunity Vincent would have had to paint Theo 'in life' was during the period they lived together in Paris, and it was at this time that Vincent had no shortage of subjects! Over 200 paintings in two years is one wonderful achievement.|
Through a number of sites I have been tracking Wheat Field with Crows. It is grand and moving; its imagery means a lot to me as I have lost a dear friend by his own hand this last summer...it lifts me when I feel myself being moved down. I have no idea how to go further and to try and get a print. Is the only route to call the museum where it is housed? Or is there a U.S. museum that carries a large number of his works in print form?
|A good place to start would be the good folks at Art.com.|
|Bobbi||This summer I was in Arles and saw a wonderful exhibit at the Foundation Vincent Van Gogh which featured artists, photographers, etc. and the influence Van Gogh had on them. Unfortunately, I did not get the catalogue at that time and think about it often. Do you have any information on how or where I might get a hold of it, or even where to start?||Bobbi got back to me with an answer to her own question:
I went through all my souvenirs from France and came upon a name and address, etc. for the "Association pour la creation de la FOUNDATION VINCENT van GOGH, ARLES". Their address is:
Palais de Luppe
They actually responded to my request for a catalogue, but the reply is in French.
|Linda Renshaw||I'm seeking information on the species of sunflowers Van Gogh painted. Any input from botanists or informed gardeners would be appreciated. Thanks.||Jose Navarro shares some interesting information about sunflowers.|
|Vince||I've had a poem, Van Gogh Gives Evidence, that I had been carrying around with me for years and it does not have an author and I cannot tell where I got it from. If anyone knows the author...?||Laetitia kindly provided the answer: The author of that poem is Eva Toth who lives in Hungary. See details on this page.|
|Wrightsize@aol.com||Does anyone have any information about the Loyer family, with whom van Gogh lived in London, other than that which appears in Martin Bailey's book "Young Vincent"? Or about Samuel Plowman, who married the daughter with whom Vincent was supposedly in love?||None yet.|
Again, I'll be very happy to post any further challenging questions if you'd care to pass them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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