June 19, 2011

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was born in Holland. The son of a pastor, he was brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere. Van Gogh was highly emotional and possessed little self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He stayed in Belgium to study art. The works of his early Dutch period are somber, sharply lit, genre paintings. In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of a gallery. In Paris, van Gogh met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and all night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would come join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but the results were disastrous. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh chased Gauguin with a razor. Van Gogh wound up cutting part of his own ear off. Van Gogh began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was jettisoned to tan asylum in for treatment. In May of 1890, he seemed better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself in a fiield. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke and intense color that poured from his turbulent emotional states.

We may fail at many things we try but the fact we tried them is important. From time to time, even the most ardent followers of Tao may have moments of weakness. Know however, that the Tao is always there for you, the wisdom of its ways are always available. They do not turn their backs on you. It is always ready to welcome you back. Even though you may lose your way, you are never lost.

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