Vincent 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 Vincent’s birth, the likely anguish of the days following his birth, must have left a deep mark in his unconscious.
His brother’s 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 he’s in low spirits) leads us to understand a little further his extraordinary fate.