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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Van Gogh and the kiddie and me

Suzanne is home from the hospital and will continue her antibiotic regime here for a bit longer.  Hopefully, she will continue to improve.  Thank all of you for the kind words and prayers.  They helped greatly.

Vincent Van Gogh is a particular favorite of both Suzanne and I.    Each of us has a favorite painting and I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

Mine is a painting called "Blossoming Almond Tree".  I think that one of the reasons I like this painting is because it was painted by the artist in celebration of the birth of the first child of his beloved brother, Theo.  The baby, a boy, was named Vincent and Van Gogh was named his godfather.    He painted this beautiful canvas to express his joy and hope for the health and happiness of this little boy.  After it was completed, he presented it to the parents with instructions to hang it above the baby's bed so he would be able to see it all of the time. In a letter written by Theo's wife to Vincent, she expresses the baby's delight in looking at the brilliantly colored work.    I like the idea that in a life that was filled with much sadness, much struggle, Van Gogh was able to paint something that represented joy and promise, it is rather like a symbol of his continued  hope.

Suzanne's favorite is the painting considered to be  Van Gogh's most famous work," The Starry Night"., This beautiful and beguling piece was done by Vincent when he was staying in an asylum in Ste. Remy-de-Provence, France.

When I was a teen, Don MacLean wrote and performed a song called  "Vincent".  The songs lyrics are as follows - ,

Starry, starry night.

Paint your palette blue and grey,

Look out on a summer's day,

With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.

Shadows on the hills,

Sketch the trees and the daffodils,

Catch the breeze and the winter chills,

In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,

How you suffered for your sanity,

How you tried to set them free.

They would not listen, they did not know how.

Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.

Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,

Swirling clouds in violet haze,

Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.

Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,

Weathered faces lined in pain,

Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,

How you suffered for your sanity,

How you tried to set them free.

They would not listen, they did not know how.

Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,

But still your love was true.

And when no hope was left in sight

On that starry, starry night,

You took your life, as lovers often do.

But I could have told you, Vincent,

This world was never meant for one

As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.

Portraits hung in empty halls,

Frameless head on nameless walls,

With eyes that watch the world and can't forget.

Like the strangers that you've met,

The ragged men in the ragged clothes,

The silver thorn of bloody rose,

Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,

How you suffered for your sanity,

How you tried to set them free.

They would not listen, they're not listening still.

Perhaps they never will...

Here is a lovely YouTube link to the song and the painting that you might enjoy -


(when you get there, click on fullscreen and click on delete annotations to see a collection of Vincent's beautiful work!)

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  1. I love that he painted it for a newborn to look at and delight in. The first outing I took my grandson on, we went to a museum. His father and I used to wander museums. I'd pick out 5 art postcards from the museum store first, and let him pick out five, then we'd go look for the paintings. My grandson, hearing this story, looked for the post cards this weekend. "You're right, Grandma! You have hundreds of postcards." It's time to take him back to the museum.

  2. I love art! I admire Van Gogh's work and I loved learning a little something new about him here. Your photos and words were wonderfully paired! Thank you

  3. Hi Ms. B&B ~~ Van Gogh is probably my favorite artist also. A lot of the younger set seem to like his 'Stary Stary Night' the best.

    We stayed a week at St. Remy, Provence (France) where the sanitarium is that he stayed in after he cut his ear.

    From the lane to the hospital we could see the olive tree grove that was in many of his paintings. I compared his 'Olive Grove with Orange Sky' painting to my photo here (my picture on top, Van Gogh's on the bottom):
    olive garden near the sanitarian
    at St. Remy-from where Van Gogh painted his picture

    Because of our stay I like Vincent Van Gogh's Olive Grove with Orange Sky best of his works.

  4. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of someone who contributed immensely to society, both Van Gogh, as well as Don McLean. I'm inspired to research other works by these artists. Great "V" post!

  5. What a great V post. Of course Vincent, how could I forget. Our famous master painter, I also love his work.

  6. Oh, what lovely comments. I always am so happy to hear of other people's delight in VanGogh's paintings. When I think of the constant rejection of his art during his lifetime (he sold only one painting) I only hope that he is able to know how much loved his work is today. All of the artists of the Impressionist school faced ridicule and rejection by the mainstream art world. They did not continue to follow their hearts though. And, we are blessed with a multitude of artwork that enriches our lives today.

  7. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists -- my favorite is "Sunflowers." I visited an art museum in The Netherlands and several of his paintings were there -- beautiful! I've never seen "Blossoming Almond Tree" or heard its story before -- thanks for posting it -- it's lovely!

  8. I am so glad to know this story -- a beautiful V post (and such a baby gift). Thanks for the lesson.

  9. I love Van Gogh also. Sending good wishes for a continued recovery...

  10. Van Gogh is a Very good painter...

    I love his Vivid imagery...

    A Very good post for the letter V...

    I"m glad Suzanne is doing better, she must really Value your friendship...

    Thanks for linking...