V is for Vincent

Mr. C and I visited the National Art Gallery in Ottawa in 2001, and lucky for us, several Vincent van Gogh paintings were in residence at the time.

177px-VanGogh_Bedroom_Arles1Van_Gogh_-_Still_Life_with_AbsintheVincent van Gogh’s paintings are breath taking, especially – especially! – in person. If you haven’t stood in front of a van Gogh yet, please put it on your bucket list. It’s worth every effort.


One of the paintings was Wheat Field with Cypresses (below). It was hard to walk away from it.










Did you know that Vincent van Gogh was also a prolific writer? He wrote the most wonderfully descriptive letters.


waterHere is an excerpt from a letter Vincent van Gogh wrote from Ramsgate, England to his brother Theo van Gogh in Holland, 28th April 1876:

…Now let me tell you about a walk we took yesterday. It was to an inlet of the sea, and the road to it led through the fields   of young wheat and along hedgerows of hawthorn etc. When we got there we had on our left a high, steep wall of sand and stone, as high as a two-storey house, on top of which stood old, gnarled hawthorn bushes. Their black or grey, lichen-covered stems and branches had all been bent to the same side by the wind, also a few elder bushes.

The ground we walked on was completely covered with large grey stones, chalk and shells.

To the right the sea, as calm as a pond, reflecting the delicate grey sky where the sun was setting. It was ebb tide and the water was very low.”

Aspringnd another, excerpted from a letter written from London, England to his brother to his brother Theo van Gogh in Holland, 30th April, 1874:

“… I walk here as much as I can, but I’m very busy. It’s absolutely beautiful here (even though it’s in the city). There are lilacs and hawthorns and laburnums &c. blossoming in all the gardens, and the chestnut trees are magnificent.

IfVincent_Van_Gogh_0021 one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. Yet I sometimes yearn so much for Holland, and especially Helvoirt.

I’m doing a lot of gardening and have sown sweet peas, poppies and reseda, now we just have to wait and see what comes of it.

I enjoy the walk from home to the office and in the evening from the office back home. It takes about three-quarters of an hour.

If you would like to read his letters, they are archived at VanGoghLetters.org


Don McLean wrote his famous song Vincent as a loving tribute. And then the Dr. Who show did a beautiful tribute in two episodes. Later, a brilliant woman named Camille Ibarra put clips of the episodes and the Don McLean song together to produce this beautiful montage:

Dearest Vincent, the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.



VI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday)


  1. I love visiting the Philadelphia Art Museum and could get lost in Van Gogh’s paintings. I also love taking my grandchildren to the museum and teaching them about art.
    Beautiful photos!
    Can you believe there are only 4 more letters…

  2. Thank you for sharing your photos. I love Van Gogh’s paintings, and these photographs have some of my favorites, plus one I’d never seen – the boots. The one with the teal background would be so beautiful printed on silk and made into a kimono. =)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!