Vincent by painters

Back to Index

Vincent in painters’eyes
We have a few portraits of you made by your friends painters.
Almost all of them are from the Parisian period…
Pastel by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Emile Bernard (your best friend in Paris)
You and the art critic Fénéon by Lucien Pissaro
Russell (the most beautiful and best-achieved portrait of you according to Jo, Theo’s wife)
Gauguin’s portrait of you which you didn’t like “me gone mad” (painted in Arles in October 1888)
The last portrait of you on your deathbed by Gachet.

From the moment you heard of the Borinage, you felt attracted to it... You sent Theo the description found in a book and you made that drawing... What were you going to do in the Borinage? Was the misery of that black country that you found so attractive? Or of those inhabitants “who work in darkness”? When you reach that place, when you see its poverty and the unbearable, hard life...led by these miners who see daylight on Sundays only, the cold, disease, hunger... You get rid of your clothes, you become poorer than them. When you sink in a state of utter destitution and distress, You look for a gleam of light, which you will find underground... You will dive into the depths of the mine and of yourself... You will surface different, with a new desire... “ Down there I saw a gleam, not bigger than a star in the sky”.
You start drawing night and day... You have made up your mind, you want to devote your life to painting. “I will resume drawing, and then it seems to me that everything has changed for me, and my pencil becomes obedient”...