There are artists whose styles are admirable and those who know how to handle color, but it takes a well-rounded human to motivate artistic concepts – even one’s morality as a painter. This man had a superb mind, a gentle heart, and a skillful stroke.
“In short, I want to reach the point where people say of my work, that man feels deeply and that man feels subtly,” said Vincent van Gogh, who, for many, is an inspiration for not only his style, but more so and more importantly, how he was able to show people the depth of humanity. His work had purpose, his hands had persistence, and his heart had love for others.
This year, 2018, the movie Loving Vincent (Welchman) came to iTunes in the United States. The movie presented a question – a question that changes history: Did Vincent van Gogh actually kill himself? The film puts forth evidence that his supposed suicide was a cover up for the man who murdered him. Vincent was overcoming his mental illness when he was shot in the stomach. He walked to go get help, and died later in a hospital bed. If the theory behind this film was true, then van Gogh died practicing what he preached: “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people".
Van Gogh, arguably one of the most well known artists of all time, was a driven man. If an artist’s motivation lies entirely in how others receive their art, their motivation will quickly dissipate. Van Gogh said, “Art demands persistent work, work in spite of everything, and unceasing observation. By persistent I mean in the first place continued labour, but also not abandoning your approach because of what someone else says.” Van Gogh kept his own vision, and because of this he is one of most renown artists in history. He said, “. . . through my work I’d like to show what there is in the heart of such an oddity, such a nobody. This is my ambition, which is based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Even though I’m often in a mess, inside me there’s still a calm, pure harmony and music.” One cannot always be passionate about their work. Passion comes and passion goes, but one must keep painting.
“249.” 249 (250, 218): To Theo Van Gogh. The Hague, on or about Friday, 21 July 1882. - Vincent Van Gogh Letters, vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let249/letter.html.
Gogh, Vincent van, and Ronald de. Leeuw. The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. Penguin, 1997.
Mike, Science, and Michael Gungor. “Episode 7 -- Lost and Found (Part 2).” The Liturgists Podcast, The Liturgists Podcast, 28 Oct. 2014, itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-7- lost-and-found-part-2/id903433534?i=1000364512224&mt=2.
Welchman, Hugh, et al. Loving Vincent. Loving Vincent, BreakThru Productions and Trademark Films, 2017, lovingvincent.com/the-movie,3,pl.html.
“Vincent Van Gogh Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/vincent_van_gogh_383837.