More dynamic composition replacing flat and static one (The shooting and fatal wounding of Vincent van Gogh)

shooting van gogh

Above: oil sketch on acrylic primed watercolour paper (two and a bit sheets) loosely stuck onto a piece of corrugated cardboard with a bit of acrylic primer and then tacked / stapled onto a set of stretcher bars, approx 33 x 24″, this is my (albeit very schematic) working drawing / painting, formed over the Christmas period 2018

rene shoots vincent #1

The shooter was too prominent… placed lower, Vincent, his wounding, is the important thing… the painting is a bit cubist but I like the confusion… difficult to visualise but I’m pretty sure that Vincent’s knees would have buckled up under the shock of the bullet piercing his flesh…. which might be the most appropriate future course to take…. on his knees, a look perhaps of incredulity on his face, his hands clutching the wound, or perhaps the look of a holy man in prayer, maybe looking skywards and thanking the creator, paints and brushes and canvas keeling over every which way…

Currently grounding a 32 x 32″ canvas for the painting… and have several smaller ones for studies…

The story of Vincent committing suicide doesn’t hold water… I think that Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith have argued very plausibly and convincingly that it is more likely that Vincent was shot, maybe accidentally, maybe through tomfoolery, by Rene Secretan.

I know from direct personal experience that history can be falsified, and especially by powerful vested interests, and I believe that what has been delivered to us, namely the story that Vincent killed himself, is a blatant falsification of the historical truth, that is, of what really happened that day.

Of course no one knows what actually happened, the precise details of what actually occurred will be doubtful.

And that ambiguity will be a feature of my painting.

I think it important. Van Gogh’s story is tragic and it moved me to tears on several occasions. Now one sees that Van Gogh is a profitable industry and that strikes me as somehow very wrong. And he knew it too.

He was one of the most intelligent, well-read, articulate, and hard-working  artists ever. I would place him alongside Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to genius. He was not mad: that’s another myth that’s been invented about him. He was affected by venereal disease, specifically syphilis, early on, for which there was no proper treatment back in his day. This syphilitic ‘cancer’ within him was the cause of all his later problems.


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