"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

30 March 2021

Happy Birthday, van Gogh

van Gogh, Almond Blossom (detail), 1890

Vincent van Gogh was born on this day in 1853.

What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

Vincent van Gogh, from a letter to Theo van Gogh, July 21, 1882

The van Gogh portion of Simon Schama's masterpiece, Power of Art ...

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