Monday, August 21, 2006
Vincent in Dupont
On the D2 bus at about 6:45 pm, there was this young man sitting across from me. I think he looks like (albeit a clean-shaven version thereof) the young Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent left his molecules all over Montmartre, where Cathy and I visited on my birthday last year. Can it be that enough of his molecules have reassembled here, and that he works for....what? The World Bank? The Phillips Collection? He's going home mighty early for a lawyer or a congressional aide. The tie is a giveaway, but to what?
Vincent Van Gogh--one of many self-portraits. Thanks to Peggy for sending this.
Vincent on the D2...
More on Van Gogh (8/22/06)
He sold only one painting while he lived -- "The Red Vineyard" (above), painted two years before he died. His great love, his cousin Kee, refused to marry him, saying "Niet, nooin, nimmer!!" (No, no way, never!!). In his lifetime, he was a teacher, a clerk in a bookstore, a salesman in an art gallery, a lay preacher, and finally, a working artist. Most of his 900 paintings were painted in the last 10 years of his life.
He died in 1890 by his own hand -- he ran out into a field and shot himself in the chest, then walked back to town not knowing he was mortally wounded; he died two days later at age 37!-- but he is one of the most famous of the post-Impressionists. The villagers where he lived with Gauguin in the south of France called him "le fou rouge" -- the red-haired madmad. He described his childhood as "gloomy and cold and barren."
I think our boy on the bus looks happier, but it was his piercing blue eyes and serious mein that first led me to look closer at him and spot the resemblance. Welcome to Dupont Circle, Vincent! Nice tie.