I’ve mentioned before that Vincent Van Gogh has always been my favorite painter. I’ve marveled at his masterpieces and the deep passion in each one.

“Lust for Life” is written about the life of Van Gogh. Vincent and his brother Theo wrote back and forth frequently and fortunately for the rest of us, Theo saved those letters. They give a very detailed description of Vincent’s life. Vincent suffered from mental illness. Many physicians have determined that he was bipolar based on the letters. I would have to agree. I just finished watching the movie version starring Kirk Douglas, which is why it is on my mind.

Here is a photo of me standing next to one of my favorite paintings “Irises” which is located at the Getty Center here in LA. Please ignore my typical closed eyes camera shot.

One of my favorite books is “Van Gogh The Complete Paintings”. When I need to relax, I will sit back and flip through the pages. Unfortunately Vincent took his own life, as do 1 in 5 of those with bipolar today. I suggest you turn on the song “Vincent” by Don McLean then scroll down slowly and view the pictures. This is my tribute to a beautiful and troubled man. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:

Bless you Vincent…

24 comments on Vincent

  1. Bradley,Thank you for sharing this. I love him and the song. It was a nice way to start my day. Were you able to see his work when it was touring. I was able to see the exhibit in L.A. It was well worth the waiting in line!!!!

  2. What a beautiful post =) Thank you, Bradley. Really enjoyed that!I’m a fan of Irises too – such depth. Also Starry Night is one I can always lose myself in.

  3. His paintings are so incredibly beautiful. I was nearly 30 years old before I saw an actual Van Gogh painting. Until then, I’d only seen reproductions and prints.The masterful use of color is really enhanced by the texture of the paint. It’s impossible to appreciate the depth of beauty in Starry Night, for example, without seeing the actual painting. It’s stunning and spectacular.Great post. Keep up the good work.

  4. I have several Van Gogh prints in my apartment, bought from NY when Van Gogh was a complete exhibit at the Met, and a few that I bought during a birthday trip to my Mecca- the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. When ever I am blue and it’s the weekend, I get into the city and see Starry Night. It revives my soul and cheers me like nothing else on earth can. Ironically, it’s the a print I never got. But I have Wheatfield with Crows over my couch in my living room area. Last week on the news they reported a new Van Gogh painting was found. Interesting. Perfect entry to see first thing in the morning, with my cup of coffee. Thank you! Keep blogging!

  5. Great post! That song takes me back to when I was a child. I didn’t understand it at the time. (probably didn’t even know who Van Gogh was at that age) But I thought it was beautiful, even then. Now that I understand it, it has even more meaning.

  6. Van Gogh, has and will probably always be one of my favorite painters. His work is so intriguing. BTW my Grandpa was bi-polar before he past away. He lived to be in his 70’s! His dad was believed to be bi-polar as well although not diagnosed. He took his live when Grandpa was very young.

  7. Do you know he painted many of the paintings from inside the psych hospital, and just left the barred windows out of the painting? I’ve spent so many (hundreds) of day with my daughter inside locked down psych wards, 2 places had views of trees. I would always stand there and imagine painting the view without the wired mesh frames or bars on the windows.The iris is a symbol for mental health, and is used on many mental health agency logos. Thanks for this Bradley, as usual inspiring.

  8. I have always loooved his work, but had no idea that he was bipolar. Pretty interesting stuff, I’m glad that you shared it.

  9. @clueless Call me clueless but I didn’t even know his exhibit was here on tour. It could have been while I was still drinking. :-(@ck When I look at Irises I just smile.@howard I was in my 40’s before I saw a Van Gogh, so don’t feel bad. I’d love to see Starry Night up close and in person@susan Wheatfield of Crows is my favorite painting because it feels to me that he was saying to me directly that this is the end. Btw, the movie gets it wrong, that painting was not his last, but it was painted during his last month.

  10. @angie I didn’t know what the song was about until I was in my late ’20’s. I’d always thought it was pretty but never paid attention to the words that much and then one day I did and got my big “aha!”@sarahanne It’d be interesting to find out what they diagnosed your grandfather with. It use to be called manic-depression. However, depending on his age I’m wondering if they called it something else.@stephany The one time I was in psych I had a view of the patient recreation area. Wasn’t very pretty but I’m sure Vincent could have made it interesting.@michelle I love the sunflower paintings. He did many. Perhaps that is why sunflowers (along with daisies) are my favorite flowers. @dani Read the book “Lust for Life”. It’s a beautiful and sad novel but will give you a great idea of what a VERY severe case of bipolar is like. Perhaps he wouldn’t have provided us with such beautiful work with meds today, but they would have likely alleviated much of his pain.

  11. Great post first off. I have a question for you that I have been pondering on. What if the chemical help that is available today was available way back then when this great artist was around. Would he still produce the same quality of work or would his art have suffered? Take care

  12. @drowsy His work is very much alive. In my mind he always will be.@untreatable We can only guess but my personable belief is that while he would have been healthier, the rest of us wouldn’t enjoy his art. Vincent had a checkered career, which is typical of someone who is “suffering” with bipolar. Had that not been the case he probably would have stayed as a minister or became an art dealer like the rest of his family.

  13. Hi Lea,I normally don’t do MEME’s, but my topic today was going to be pretty heavy and I didn’t know where to begin. I hope you don’t mind, though, if I don’t pass it on. Thank you for giving me a lighter topic which I’ll post later. πŸ™‚

  14. John,I’ve seem that Machina and it’s great. If you get a chance there is a Van Gogh museum in SL in which you get to walk through his paintings. I love it.

  15. Magnificent post Bradley. I teach writing and dedicate one whole class period to Van Gogh, his art, the Mclean’s song. Then I ask my students to write their thoughts. I hope to add your post to my lesson for the fall. Van Gogh and O’Keeffe are my favorite painters, the ones I understand best as far as their work and their life. I really enjoyed this post very much. Thanks a lot! πŸ™‚

  16. My mother was quite a lady and she had the Sunflower print hung in our breakfast room in Hollywood. We knew so much as little kids. I knew he had cut off his ear but I didn’t know he was bi-polar then, of course it wasn’t called that in the 1950’s when we lived there. It reminds me of the song “Hanford Street” by Van Morrison.”Take me back….”

  17. His paintings show how interesting and deep a person he really was. Some of the pictures you have, I haven’t seen before. Quite lovely and interesting at the same time.I also want to let you know that I tagged you for “7 Facts About Me.” You will find the information on my site. I hope you don’t mind.

  18. FANTASTIC. FANTASTIC. FANTASTIC.I have always been a “Vincent” fan. Irises……….I get lost in the very thought of that painting.It is now my desktop background.Starry Night – the painting. Not a painting I could ever understand. I look and look and all I can see is turmoil. I love his work. Sometimes it represents too much for me.Starry Night – the song. Great piece of music and fantastic lyrics. Unfortunately sometimes hard to listen to know. I went to highschool with a girl who suicided to that song. She had it on continous replay and it was still going when she was found.I wonder it at times what her perspective of Vincent was.Keep up the great posts BRADLEY!

  19. WoW, now I can see the complete set of Vincent Van Gogh paintings…Oh, if I’m not wrong that is still a painting, where Vincent cut off his left ear…

  20. Wow! Bradley – I love Vincent. Starry Starry Night has always been one of my favorite songs. My dad used to sing it to me when I was a little girl. When I was in college and had to sign the lyrics to a song for a final examine in ASL 102, I chose Vincent. I love that song. I love his art. The Starry Starry Night SIM in SL was one of the first things that endeared me to you. I found it in your pics and couldn’t wait to go explore. I absolutely loved the experience of diving into Van Goghs paintings virtually.Thank you πŸ™‚ again for reminding me how much I love him. And.. you too πŸ™‚ I always close my eyes in photos too. LOL!

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