Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunset at Montmajour
I was fascinated to read that “the Van Gogh Museum says it has identified a long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting that spend 125 years in a Norwegian attic because it was thought not to be authentic." Makes me wonder what’s in my attic!
The painting, “Sunset at Montajour” is of a dry landscape of oak trees, bushes and sky with the classic thick brush stokes that only Van Gogh seemed to perfect. They have been able to pin point the exact day it was painted, because Van Gogh described the painting, which he had done the previous day, in a letter to his brother, Theo.
What caught my interest, was that Vincent expressed in two different letters that he considered his painting of “Sunset at Montajour” a failure. In fact, he felt the same way about one of his most famous paintings, “Starry Night”. I had to chance to see “Starry Night” when we visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It will take your breath away. Can you imagine thinking it was a failure?
You could spend a life time trying to figure out all of the complexities of Vincent Van Gogh, far too many for me to explore. But I wonder about the powerful sense of failure inside of him that seemed to be the canvas on which he painted his life. He painted approximately 900 paintings in his lifetime, but only sold ONE during his life time. I find that unbelievable, but also amazing. He kept on painting when no one else seemed interested or cared about his art.
It takes a real passion to do what you love , especially when the rest of the world passes you by without a glance of recognition. I admire individuals who follow their passions. For Van Gogh, It was painting. What’s yours?