The REAL Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1989
Vincent van Gogh, (1853-1890)

Myth:  Van Gogh was a manic, possibly slightly deranged man who just spontaneously threw paint at the canvas.

Truth:  He was a very experienced artist (he made 900 paintings in ten years) and doggedly honed his skills. He created very deliberate compositions.

Red Vineyard at Arles, 1888
Vincent van Gogh

Myth: Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime.

Truth: Van Gogh sold ONE painting during his lifetime, Red Vineyard at Arles, to a Russian collector, Sergei Shchukin. This painting now resides at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles, 1888 Digital version shows what may be the original violet walls.

Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles, 1888
Digital version shows what may be the original violet walls.

Myth: In Van Gogh’s beloved painting of his bedroom in Arles, France, the walls were painted blue.

Truth: New high-tech research shatters Van Gogh myth! Van Gogh originally painted the walls of his bedroom a pale lilac, not blue! The reason…purple (lilac) is the complementary color of yellow. He experimented with new pigments. These new pigments, particularly the color red, proved to be unstable and the red pigment disappeared after a short time changing to blue.

Don’t miss this video! Watch as Vincent van Gogh’s masterpieces come alive!
Click here if you are unable to view the video.

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32 Responses to The REAL Vincent van Gogh

  1. Courtney says:

    Hi Kirby,

    I was chatting with a good friend of mine that lives in San Diego the other day about Art blogs, and stumbled across Kirby Kendrick’s Art Blog. We recently launched in San Diego, and thought it might be cool to connect with some local bloggers like you.

    We would love to send you to an upcoming Art class (on us) to write about your experience and share with your audience! For context, I work for CourseHorse, a company that makes local education more accessible, and some of our most popular classes are Art classes.

  2. Val says:

    Thanks for this. Saw some van Goghs in Edinburgh this last summer.


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