“I cannot help that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see
that they are worth more than the price of the paints and my own living.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
Out of Vincent Van Gogh’s 900+ paintings, “Red Vineyard” (pictured here) is the only painting that sold in his lifetime. Here is a man who painted because he was compelled to do so. Not for money, fame or even the respect of his peers. He painted for the sheer joy and drive of the act of painting itself. That is what is so intriguing to me about Van Gogh. I recently visited the Met, and I surprised myself by wanting to locate Van Gogh’s work before any other artist. Not because I think he was an amazing artist, but I think he had the heart of an artist. I felt a connection the more I read about his life and work.
He went against the accepted techniques and subjects of his day. He shamefully didn’t hide his brushstrokes when it was expected that the most skilled artists create as smooth a painting as possible. He painted ordinary objects when his fellow artists only painted what was beautiful. He painted the way he thought he should paint not based on his sales or the opinions of others. His work was shocking and undesirable but he kept on painting. Perhaps this is why his work is sought after, today.
He was a radical with a brush.