Saturday, November 24, 2007

Morgan Library's Van Gogh show in NYC

I went to the VanGogh show at the Morgan yesterday. It is there till January. Lots of letters, sketches and paintings. There was a booklet to read the letters in translation. Actually, you can see seven of the letters with the sketches and the translations on line at:

Reading the letters was like hearing Van Gogh speak in his own words. It was pretty exciting for me after what has seemed weeks of caregiving, to hear intelligent conversation...even if it was one-sided. He wrote, over the years, about wanting to paint the starry sky. He finally did it in the last year of his life.

"But when will I do the starry sky, then, that painting that's always on my mind? Alas, alas, it's just as our excellent pal Cyprien says, in "En ménage" by J. K. Huysmans, the most beautiful paintings are those one dreams of while smoking a pipe in one's bed but which one doesn't make. But it's a matter of attacking them nevertheless, however incompetent one may feel vis-à-vis the ineffable perfections of nature's glorious splendors."

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