Van Gogh : Diggers
Vincent drew then painted dozens of characters digging.
Beyond the gesture and the research of movement, an unconscious memory,
an inner anguish might be lurking.
Exactly one year before his birth (to the very day), the parents van Gogh
had a first dead-born child.
The anxiety and the tensions which must have risen before Vincents
birth, the likely anguish of the days following his birth, must have left
a deep mark in his unconscious.
His brothers small grave was very near the native house, the kitchen
garden adjoining the churchyard. It was located some steps away from the
church entrance where his father officiated and Vincent must have stayed
in silent contemplation at graves quite often with his parents.
Named Vincent like his dead-born elder brother, he even had to replace
him. How could you be another and be yourself? Living near the churchyard,
he must have seen the digging of the graves more than once. That gesture
which so often comes back in his pen and brush (particularly when hes
in low spirits) leads us to understand a little further his extraordinary