This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Aug 19, 2009


This is from the book, "The Van Gogh File, the Myth and The Man", by Ken Wilkie.

I found it to be a fascinating account of the authors investigation into the life of Van Gogh; where he lived and painted, his family, his physical and emotional health and the doctors that treated him and Theo. (I used this book as a source in my first post, "Isolation")
There are no formal photographs of Van Gogh as a mature man, in spite of the fact that photography as we know it had been developing, so to speak, since the 1840's.
This photo was found, luckily by an artist who must have jumped on it, in an antique dealers shop in Massachusetts, bought for $1, and taken for forensic image comparisons. It eventually was evaluated at the H.C.Lee Institute of Forensic Science, University of New Haven, and the conclusion was "in all probability, this is a rare photo of Vincent Van Gogh as an adult". The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam doesn't agree, but museums don't like their apple carts upset.(my opinion) Van Gogh painted between thirty and forty self-portraits. I've taken some and reversed them for easier comparison to the photo. The last image is a painting of Van Gogh done by an Australian compatriot, John Russell.

Vincent Van Gogh by John Russell


  1. Awesome. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Yes...another good read. Thanks.

  3. Jala and KA, Thanks.
    I'm educating myself along the way. Can't hurt

  4. If you google van gogh photograph the Neatorama article will give you more interesting information about this photograph.

  5. Thanks,I just did.I don't necessarily agree on his use of an optical device, even though they were common. (I became interested in optical devices because of Vermeer) Van Goghs strength lies in his interpretation-his painting MO doesn't jibe with the need for any guide, but reference? Maybe. He certainly worked from other artists images.The painting of his mother was a revelation however.
    I've never believed the photos of him as a youth were him..a bulbous nose and mostly, no widows peak. Very interesting, thanks

  6. Go back a few pages and see the drawing (sketch) self portrait,1887.
    It looks like a tracing to me!!!!! The photo was recently published in a book VG Fakes & Frauds by the great french author Benoit Landais. It is also published in le folie gachet, full page. It was also used in a PBS series, Landscapes through Time, to illustrate Vincent.

  7. The sketch you refer to is where? I was curious about your comment, but couldn't find the drawing.Along the way I came across a self portrait that was believed to be by Van Gogh for 70 years (see Australia&Rupert Murdoch)and it absolutely amazes me that it was ever thought to be by him.

  8. It's at the VG Museum, VG Foundation.

    You can see the sty on his eyelid in the drawing just like the photograph!

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  10. Look at his eye, there is a sty. Would any artist put a sty on an eye if it weren't there?