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New Van Gogh letters turn up at an auction

Courtesy: Archive

Art
19 Jun 20

New Van Gogh letters turn up at an auction

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Van Gogh’s newly discovered letters reveal a little-known facet of the painter’s personal life

Vincent Van Gogh was a rather assiduous to epistolar correspondence, proof of this is the most recent find of the museum that bears his name, which acquired Van Gogh’s new letters revealing his taste for brothels.

 Painter's Self-Portrait
Courtesy: Archive

The bid was held at the Drouot auction house in Arles, France. In said event, there was a specific letter dated 1988 to another art figure: Emile Bernard. The document is co-written by Paul Gauguin and both characters detail their attempt to establish a pictorial community in the Yellow House located in Arles.

It should be noted that the letter was intended to attract Bernard to join them in Provence. However, the epistle, written in French and made up of four pages, also addresses his crazy adventures and his fondness for visiting brothels.

Letter (detail) from Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin to Emile Bernard. Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam / Vincent van Gogh Foundation.
Courtesy: Vincent Van Gogh Foundation

“Now something you’ll be interested in: we’ve done some trips in the brothels, and we’ll probably eventually go there often to work,” wrote Van Gogh. “Right now, Gauguin has a canvas in progress of the same night café that I also painted, but with figures seen in the brothels. It promises to become a beautiful thing.”

Letter (detail) from Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin to Emile Bernard. Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam / Vincent van Gogh Foundation.
Courtesy: Vincent Van Gogh Foundation

Explaining the future of modern art

But make no mistake, because, as the lines above point out, it’s a talk that addresses the creative process of so many painters. “The letter is a visionary explanation of their artistic collaboration and the future of modern art,” the museum wrote in a statement announcing the acquisition.

Moreover, although the museum does not indicate the price paid it is known that it was around 200,000 euros. In addition, according to historical records, at the end of the year, sometime around December 23, 1888, his relationship with Gauguin ended. It was then that, in an episode of psychosis, Van Gogh mutilated his ear.

Van Gogh painting sunflowers (Van Gogh peignant des tournesols), 1888
Courtesy: Wikipedia

Later, he entered Saint-Paul-De-Mausole, an asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to try to solve his mental condition. Lastly, the Van Gogh Museum plans to display Gauguin-Van Gogh’s letter along with 40 other letters from the artist in the exhibition “‘Your Loving Vincent: Van Gogh’s Largest Lyrics,” which will open on October 9, 2020.

Finally, if you plan a trip to Toronto you will be able to see the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition from the comfort of your car.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

https://www.allcitycanvas.com/en/author/fernandohcruz/
escrito por Fernando Huacuz
Ciudad de México, 1988- En búsqueda constante de urdimbres visuales y narrativas en espacios públicos y privados. Arte, cultura y rocksteady un must.
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