Vincent van Gogh, one of our favorite artists, only lived to be 37 years old. He didn’t even decide to be a painter until he was 32! Most of his paintings were done in the last year of his life, many at the mental hospital in Rémy, France. He would sometimes paint more than one painting every day.
We found this early work called “Portrait of a Farm Woman”. I can see that Vincent was still painting mostly in the browns and grays he had learned from his uncle in the Netherlands.
Later, after his time in Paris, Vincent used more and brighter colors. He did this colorful, animated “Portrait of a Man” in 1889. The way the fellow’s head is on crooked makes me wonder what sort of character he was!
This is my new favorite Van Gogh painting. The bright blue sky and pink blossoms are so pretty, and you can see the sunshine and shadows moving on the ground under the tree. It is like seeing a breeze.
I love this painting, as well, because I have crossed little bridges like this in Amsterdam. The style of bridge that is very popular in the Netherlands. Since the land is so wet there and the people make canals to help drain the water away, bridges are designed to be both inexpensive to maintain and easily opened for boats to go through.
I also like the blues of the water and sky, and how he shows the ripples in the water where the women are doing the laundry. The ripples sort of tie the man in the wagon to the ladies washing, saying “they are all a part of this place.”
There were more works of art than I could photograph, and more than I can tell you about here. Maybe you and I can travel to the Kröller-Müller Museum some day and I can show them to you. I’ll even buy you lunch!