Talk:Vincent van Gogh/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2



The date has been removed from this article. This page will not be featured on March 17 in the Selected Anniversaries section on the Main Page. -- 15:34, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Holland and Netherlands

I have a queson I read once that Van Gogh was born in Holland and again that he was born in the Netherlands. Are these two places the same place? --Daniela

The same.

Tyrenius 18:15, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

They are not the same, but ignorant people (including Dutch people) use them as if they are the same, Vincent was born in Noord-Brabant (North-Brabant), a province of the Netherlands. The Netherlands also has two provinces called North and South Holland, together they compose Holland. Ignorant people call ‘the Netherlands’ ‘Holland’, but that is like calling the ‘USA’ ‘Texas’, or ‘Germany’ ‘North Rhine-Westphalia’, or (something that happens) the ‘United Kingdom’ ‘England’ Mach10

Just seen this comment, and I'd like to comment if I may. I don't think it's a case of ignorance, at least not for the English language. In English, Holland seems to have 2 meanings - one, the province of the Netherlands known as Holland, and two, an alternative name for the entire country. In English, this is a perfectly acceptable name for the entire country, if a little out-dated these days. Curious that, for a country with 2 names (Netherlands and Holland), the adjective is formed from neither of them (Dutch). JackofOz 07:20, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Just like using "England" to mean "United Kingdom". --M1ss1ontomars2k4 | T | C | @ 02:17, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

You could also check this link: Caedus 19:05, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation of name

To end the confusion about the pronounciation of the name: In the Dutch pronounciation the begin 'G' and the end 'gh' are both the rasping or scraping 'g'. In the Netherlands and Belgium these come in a hard version (roughly in the Netherlands above the river Rhine) and a softer version (roughly in the Netherlands below the river Rhine and in Belgium). Since Vincent was raised in the south of the Netherlands he most probably used the softer variant himself. For some more information see:

-- JanHidders

Also, you can take a thing too far. Most native speakers of English seem to pronounce the name (Dutch: /van xoX/) as /vaen gO/, some as /vaen goX/, or even /vaen XoX/. The latter is the closest approximation, but I have only ever heard it used once by a native English speaker.
v and w differ between Germanic languages too, hence the German bad guy in English comedy saying 've vill make you talk', but for an approximation of the Dutch pronunciation this is not really relevant.)
Anyhow, the only reason I put this in originally is to give more ammunition to the group of /vaen goX/ sayers vs. the /vaen gO/ sayers.
The SAMPA ASCII representation of the IPA phonetic alphabet did not seem to contain all the characters I needed, so above alphabet is my own invention. My apologies for any confusion this may cause.--branko
Though the pronunciation bit might be interesting, the phrase 'Asking a Dutch person for directions to the "van go" museum will often lead to a look of confusion.' is utter nonsense. Most Dutch are well aware of the way english speakers pronounce the name and anyone living in Amsterdam is quite accustomed to the many tourists asking the way to the "van go" museum. I suggest removing this sentence.--Victor
I would suggest someone in the know would record and link an OGG file from the main Van Gogh page as has been done in Dmitri Mendeleev's page (1st paragraph, 2nd line)
-- Jelp

In the UK the pronunciation "van goff" is pretty common. Not correct, of course. -

The current OGG file sounds like "fintsent" instead of "finsent". Is this a mistake or does it reflect the correct pronunciation? The IPA transcription indicates the second version. Anyway, why does the IPA transcriptios indicate "v" instead of "f" in "vincent" and "van", when it sounds like an IPA "f"? --Mark 21.03.2007

Mark has got a point there; voiced fricatives (like v) are often pronounced voicless (f) by Dutch peolple. However, the voiced sound is still considered (most) correct. The acclaimed stress pattern does seem incorrect to me. In "vincent", the first syllable is stressed and should be preceded by an ', I don't really know how to change this myself, maybe someone else? -- Iris

I've made Iris's suggested change. I've also added the usual UK & US English pronunciations (Branco's comment covers US pronunciation, but not UK pronunciation; "van goff" is correct,; it's just been anglicised, that's all); given that most visitors to this page would be more interested in these than the Dutch pronunciation, it seems strange that they weren't already given. — Paul G 11:27, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Sunflower dates

Which year sunflowers is that? He's done several. Are they distinguished by year, or are they all named slightly differntly? Anyone know?--KQ

Bit late for a reply, but for completeness - The seven Sunflower paintings were all painted around the same time, in August [1888] and January [1889]. They were painted to decorate the house at Arles prior to Paul Gauguin's visit and mostly have similar titles, along the pattern Still Life: Vase with Nnn Sunflowers, where Nnn is the number of sunflowers in the picture. Even then several have the same title and dates.
For more see vangoghgallery -- Solipsist 10:47, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Well, Vincent adressed the copies he did in 1889 after the originals of August 1888 as "repetitions", so there is only a word to include to distinguish the origiaal versions of 1888 (in Munich and London, F. 456 and F. 454) from the replicas in Tokyo, Philadelphia and Amsterdam (F. 457, F.455 and F. 458). F. refers to the Catalogue standard: de la Faiile 1928 and 1970 ---wunny 02:56, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

The Mental Condition of Vincent van Gogh

Since most mental disorders were not well known at the time of his existence, it is not well know exactly what van Gogh suffered from. However, from the symptoms mentioned in his letters to his brother Theo, which include hallucinations, fatique and weakness, and seizures, it is said he suffered from epilepsy. I'm not sure where you guys keep getting bipolar from, even though he had an anger problem, he wasn't bipolar because he never came back up from the low parts. So you all should correct your errors.

When you made the correction, you referred to epilepsy as a mental disorder. Please find a nice reliable source, then come back to correct our errors. That's how a wiki works. JFW | T@lk 01:55, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I took this extract from [1]
A diagnosis of epilepsy was made by two seperate doctors who treated him.
May 8th 1889 - Monthly notes by the asylum physician in the asylum book
"the hallucinations of sight and hearing "terrified" the patient and "he retains only a vague memory (of the ear cutting incident) and cannot explain it. He tells that one of his mother's sisters was epileptic, and that there are several cases in the family" Dr Peyron, another physician involved in his care noted,
"I believe that monsieur Van Gogh is subject to epileptic fits at very great intervals." -allthesestars 20:55, 13 Jun 2005
It is not at all unusual to have both bipolar disorder and temporal lobe epilepsy. In some cases the two are almost certainly one and the same thing. Some of the drugs prescribed to treat epilepsy (Tegretol, Trileptal, Lamictal) are also effective in treating bipolar. (Still, I get bored of claims that such-and-such medical condition is the cause of so-and-so's artistic temperament.)
I'm a little uncomfortable with the strength of the assertion in the sentence "It is widely believed he suffered from a severe case of bipolar disorder. " in the intro. The later 'Illness' section seems to give a more balanced view of some the ideas and opinions on the issue. Stumps 12:42, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
The intro should reflect accurately what is contained in the rest of the text. Be bold! Revise it... Tyrenius 16:12, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Recent Spotting!

Vincent was recently spotted near Marylebone Road in London. Check out the picture! He looks pretty good for being 152 years old.

-Ravedave 06:01, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Biographies / Tributes

Since the biography and Don McLean song are mentioned, one ought also to include the films Lust for Life and Vincent and Theo. And should these references be broken out into their own section? (no time to make those edits myself at this moment) St. Chris 18:14, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


In the content of the passage, I see many Van Gogh instead of van Gogh.

In some parts of the article van Gogh is written "van Gogh" and in others the V is capitalized, "Van Gogh" what is correct? It should be consistent... Kewp 09:45, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Im not sure, I just did a quick check of google and they use both Cfitzart 13:45, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

When using the complete name including the first name it is "Vincent van Gogh". If you only mention his last name (the van is part of the last name) it is "Van Gogh". Check out the Van Gogh museum website for some examples: Janderk 14:24, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
As someone named 'Dirk van der Made', let me say that I never capitalise the 'van' (except at the beginning of a sentence of course). And I don't know anyone with such a name who does. I'll tweak the article a bit. DirkvdM 08:18, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for input, but "don't know anyone" doesn't count under NOR (no original research). We need sources. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam capitalises Van Gogh on their site, e.g. "The production of a series of museum catalogues about Van Gogh's work in the Van Gogh Museum collection." [2] Before we get into a tweaking and retweaking waste of time, let's have a consensus reached. I have checked in four artbooks. Two have "van" and two have "Van". Tyrenius 09:27, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The official Dutch spelling rules are that the Van Gogh is with a capital V except when the first name (Vincent van Gogh) or an initial (V. van Gogh) is appended in front of it. I did not make the rules ;) One can read about it on the official website of the Dutch language union (which in unfortenately in Dutch only): Although I am the first to admit that one sees both versions a lot. In Belgium the rules are again different. There one writes the van with the capitalization as indicated on the birth certificate. In the end it does not matter much but I propose to stick with the official Dutch spelling rules as Van Gogh was Dutch after all. Janderk 13:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The following moved from accidental creation of new thread:

To the sentence "When the surname is written without the first name the "v" is capitalized: Van Gogh." I added 'sometimes' and the sentence "However, this is not customary in Dutch, where the 'v' is written small, even though it is an integral part of the last name. Still, the name should be filed under 'g'." Someone then changed that again to "According to Dutch spelling rules the V in Van Gogh is capitalized, except when the first name (e.g. Vincent van Gogh) or initial (V. van Gogh) is appended in front of it", thus making the claim even stronger. I don't know how van Gogh's name is usually spelled, but it is customary to write the 'v' small. I am Dutch and I have a last name that starts with 'van', so I should know. Were does the capitalised writing come from? The van (Dutch) article says in the US there are similar (but of course unrelated) Vietnamese names. May that the the origin? DirkvdM 08:43, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry about making a mess of this. It started with a discussion on the language ref desk. That also makes for some interresting reading. Let me just note here that 'van Dale' is spelled with a small 'v' on the cover - and they should know. Then again, that's a brand name, so it doesn't really count as an argument. Who would count as 'the official source' on the Dutch language? Effectively, that's van Dale, right? But their entry on 'van' doesn't resolve the issue. DirkvdM 09:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know how 'official' the woordenlijst is, but it only says that last names are capitalised and that a prefix is not capitalised when preceded by the first name. But it doesn't say it should be capitalised without it. Of course you could read that between the lines, but woudn't that be original research (or is that the right term here?). About the first bit, if you folow that the name would have to be 'Van gogh' because it doesn't say all bits should be capitalised. Anyway, if that were the case, then my name would be 'Van Der Made'? My way out of this is to point out that my official name is 'Made, van der'. My name is filed under 'm', so the 'Made' bit is the 'main bit' of my name, while 'van der' is just a prefix. DirkvdM 09:58, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the Dutch rules are perfectly clear and Janderk is right. But the real question to answer here should be: is there a reason to use the Dutch capitalization of "Van Gogh" in English? David Sneek 11:12, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Why should we be governed by the Dutch spelling rules re capitalisation? This is English wikipedia. Capitalisation rules in other languages vary enormously, but they have no bearing in this language. German capitalises all nouns, but when we're writing about a German subject we don't adhere to that, and neither should we. JackofOz 11:13, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Obviously there is a lot of confusion about this point. We all know it is "Vincent van Gogh", but when Vincent is missing, is it "van Gogh" or "Van Gogh". As I mentioned I have just looked in four books on VvG. Two give "van" and two give "Van". Therefore it is clear that both upper and lower case are used in print in English, probably in order to annoy everyone. The wiki article Capitalization says:
Compound names
In Dutch (though not Flemish), the particle "van" in a surname is not capitalized if a forename or initial precedes it. So Franky van der Elst in prose becomes Van der Elst, Franky in a list. In English, practice varies when the name starts with a particle with a meaning such as "from" or "the" or "son of". Some of these particles (Mac, Mc, M', O') are always capitalized; others (L', Van) are usually capitalized
This again confirms that both usages occur. As "Van" is "usually capitalized" I suggest we adopt it to settle the argument. I have put something in the main article to this effect, and hope it will be acceptable. (Until this discussion started I'd never noticed one way or the other)
Tyrenius 20:44, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
We cannot rely on how any individual uses their own name (although this is an interesting contribution) because that counts as "original research". Wiki stipulate usage of sources and references. I have omitted Dutch usage under Spelling in the article, because this is not established. As I've pointed out before (following someone else's lead), but no one has taken notice of:
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam capitalises Van Gogh on their site, e.g. "The production of a series of museum catalogues about Van Gogh's work in the Van Gogh Museum collection." [3]
This is a valid reference.
Tyrenius 21:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to say we should adopt Dutch usage here, because it's a name. If you quote someone in German you should follow the German rules of grammar, including capitalisation. If you translate it into English you should use the English rules. My name is Dutch so it should follow Dutch rules. If you'd translate it to, say, 'of the Meadow', you may do with it whatever English rules dictate, but as 'van der Made' it is a Dutch 'word' and should follow Dutch rules.
I don't know how names that start with 'Mc' or 'Mac' are filed, but the name van Gogh is filed under 'g' . So the 'Gogh' bit is the name proper. The 'van' bit is just a prefix and should therefore not be capitalised. This seems to me to be rather conclusive argument. And you may rest assured that I will keep on writing my name as 'van der Made', irrespective of what any of you say. :) DirkvdM 08:10, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I understand why the Dutch file him under G for Gogh, but that simply wouldn't work in English. He is so well known in this language as "van Gogh" (whether the v is capitalised or not), that virtually nobody would think of looking for him under G in a reference book, and a cross-reference would be necessary to make the link. But even that would look silly. JackofOz 08:42, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's good thing then that this is not a paper encyclopedia. Both 'gogh' and 'van gogh' redirect here. So this confusion should be pointed out in the article. But the issue here is capitalisation and my argument is that a Dutch name should be written according to Dutch rules. Just like McGuiness should in Dutch be written with a capital M, following English rules (or should I say Irish rules?), irrespective of what the Dutch rules may be. DirkvdM 05:10, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I can see we're going to have to agree to disagree on this, Dirk. I don't think I like that analogy very much. McGuinness is one word. It may once have meant "son of Guinness", but that meaning has been lost. The Mc is never separated from the Guinness and there is no justification for having a lower case M, in English or any other language. Whereas "van", "der" and "de" are separated from the name that follows, and are words that are normally not capitalised.
You cannot really isolate the capitalization issue from the "identification of the surname" issue. Modern English has no surnames that start with "of" of "from". I can think of some quaint Scottish names like "MacGillicuddy of the Reeks", but the "of" is internal. The closest we come to surnames with 2 words is unhyphenated double surnames, like the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. This causes a lot of confusion, some people thinking his surname is Williams and his given name is Vaughan. But in case you're wondering where I'm going with this, I'm not saying that V should be capitalised in van Gogh (except at the start of a sentence). All I'm saying is that English rules should apply in English language contexts, not Dutch. It's a question of principle. In most cases, though, there would be no difference. If the 2 sets od rules happen to produce the same result, fine. But if not, so be it. JackofOz 06:41, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
To say, "I'm inclined to say we should adopt Dutch usage here, because it's a name" is not valid for Wiki, as it's original research (as a personal theory). Wiki follows established usages; it does not innovate. A language that incorporates foreign terms (or names), then has its own rules for using them, spelling them and pronouncing them, and if you are using that language, it is correct to follow its rules (even if that might be incorrect in the foreign language). This is an article in English, not in Dutch. The English language is often a bit slipshod, and I've already pointed out that both usages occur "van" and "Van". I have supplied references. Can we have less personal theory and a bit of academic rigour in supplying references please. Otherwise, we will follow the "usual" usage of "Van" as in Wiki Capitalization. I think this effort would be much better spent in actually improving the content of the article!!!
Tyrenius 12:54, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
His name was "Vincent van Gogh", with a lowercase "v"; that much everyone will probably agree on. In Dutch the "v" should often be capitalised, but there is no reason to use Dutch rules here. Therefore, I think we should consistently call him "van Gogh" in the article. Because "van" is a prefix, I believe that in categories he should be filed the way he is filed now, under "G" - [[Category:1853 births|Gogh, Vincent van]]. David Sneek 20:10, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia an international project or not? If so, I think Wikipedia has to respect national traditions. In Holland his name was Vincent van Gogh, changing to an upper case Van Gogh, as soon as the christian name is omitted. And this is not ancient history, but actual practice of a nation since centuries. So, what's wrong about this kind of usage?

And if you could ask the artist himself, he probably would ask to be called "Vincent", the way he signed since 1880, the year he himself opted for this pseudonym? How do you want do proceed? Gogh is no solution, Van Gogh much closer to reality, and Vincent is his own decision. --wunny 03:33, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

ALL of the above discussion strikes me as original research (I see I'm echoing Tyrenius' post of 12:54, 6 March 2006) ... as far as where to file him goes, surely we should just look at the indexes of enough English language books to get a statistically signifcant answer, and see what is standard English usage. I'll do it myself with a random sample of 'all books in my house today with Vincent van Gogh in the index' over the weekend, and report back the result. Stumps 12:58, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I've done my random sample (details in table below) and the answer is that there seems to be no clear standard usage in English regarding Van Gogh/van Gogh (although van Gogh 'wins') and there is a noticeable preference to index under V. The summary of the index results are:
  • index under V: 5
  • index under G: 2
  • no indexes: 2
And the summary of the family name results are:
  • Van Gogh: 4
  • van Gogh: 5
Here are the full details, as stated in my previous post, of books selected by the fact of happening to be in my house on the day of the survey:
English usage re Vincent van Gogh
Author/Year Title Indexed under Family name
Nemeczek, 1999 Van Gogh in Arles n/a Van Gogh
Arnold, 1992 Chemicals, Crises & Creativity G van Gogh
Gaylord, 2006 The Yellow House V Van Gogh
Wilkie, 1991 In Search of Van Gogh n/a Van Gogh
Callow, 1990 Vincent van Gogh: A life V van Gogh
Erickson, 1998 At Eternity's Gate V van Gogh
Ozanne & de Jode, 1999 Theo: the other van Gogh G van Gogh
L & E Hanson, 1955 Passionate Pilgrim V Van Gogh
Lubin, 1972 Stranger on the earth V van Gogh
It should also perhaps be noted that Gaylord, the Hansons, and Lubin show a strong preference for using 'Vincent' in the text.
So, in summary, I think this survey shows:
  • arguments about standard English usage regarding van/Van do not really hold water as there seems to be no firm standard
  • there is a marked preference to index under V
  • van Gogh got the higher score (and — from the preceding discussion — seems to match Dutch usage).
Can we agree on van Gogh and index under V? Stumps 08:48, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd say no for "van Gogh". Your research shows that both "Van Gogh" and "van Gogh" are often used in liturature. The official spelling rules says it should be "Van Gogh". The most authoritive website: The Van Gogh museum says "Van Gogh" too. Why would we overrule the official spelling rules and the most authoritive website on the subject? Janderk 09:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
oops .. unwind my comment about Dutch usage ... you are right that there is no conclusive result from the survey, other than to show that there is no standard approach to van/Van in English. I guess the Green book is about as official as you can get, and although I'm a bit confused by the rule (it would be Mr Van Gogh, Mr V. van Gogh, and Vincent van Gogh, yes???) and I guess the primary motivation of it is to consistently avoid any possibility of confusion arising from a normal usage of the word 'van' — a reason which of course is entirely irrelevant in English ... but hey what the heck, now I'm indulging in OR :(. I'm happy enough with Van as well. Is there general support for:
  • Van Gogh (and Vincent van Gogh, of course)
  • index under V
What next? Stumps 09:43, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree on that. And to answers your question: Yes the green book from the Dutch language union is as official as it gets. The relevant page on "van" is here.
"(it would be Mr Van Gogh, Mr V. van Gogh, and Vincent van Gogh, yes???)" Yes, according to greenbook that is all correct. The official statement is that Van is written in lowercase if there is an initial, first name or family name written in front of it. In Belgium the rule is different again. There one uses whatever is written on the birth certificate. Janderk 10:08, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Wiki policy is to follow verifiable sources. Stumps has clearly shown (as I found from looking in my own books) that one can find (when the first name, Vincent, is absent) both "van Gogh" and "Van Gogh" in use. We can therefore choose to use either (but not mix them for stylistic reasons). As the Dutch usage has been shown to be "Van Gogh", and as this is an international encyclopedia, I suggest we let that tip the balance, and decide on "Van Gogh", as it has the advantage of appearing correct in the language of origin. The upper case, as in "Van Gogh" is currently the usage in the article, and there seems no good reason to change it. However, there is not a precedent in wiki to refer to him merely as Vincent, except where it is unavoidable in the text to differentiate between him and someone else of the same surname, e.g. Theo. Tyrenius 12:58, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Really, I do not want to complicate matters, but I think that two things need to be separated (and taken into account by everybody):

- the correct Dutch convention for the name of the family: (first name) & van Gogh and, when without first name, Van Gogh
- the pseudonym "Vincent", for which he opted in 1880; afterwards he only signed "Vincent van Gogh" in highly official letters, never again in his own correspondance.

Therefore I would plead for "Van Gogh" as well as for "Vincent", with both lemmata properly linked, - and I would suggest to forget "Gogh, van" or related nonsense. --wunny 22:03, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Am I right in interpreting that as confirmation of the conclusion I proposed? Tyrenius 01:07, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I believe the consensus is "Van Gogh", "Vincent van Gogh", index under V, and use "Vincent" when necessary for clarity or consistency (which is quite often given the prominent role of Theo, various uncles, and Vincent's father). Stumps 07:21, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Excellent, --wunny 22:51, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

The Sold one painting "Myth"

It's still open to debate whether VG only ever sold one painting his lifeime. I would prefer to say that "it is widely believed, but not conclusively proven, that he only sold one painting..." See the forum discussion at 14:56, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I think I have read something about him being commissioned to do a series of paintings, but that isnt the same thing as selling one. Just to write it down for discussion here, the page you pointed to says that:

"Vincent was commissioned to do a series of paintings representing the four seasons years before. Also interesting is a (perhaps apocryphal) story I heard which mentions that Theo sold another of Vincent's works shortly before his brother's suicide, but for some reason neglected to mention this sale to Vincent." and "there is evidence that before then he sold a painting in London and this might explain his idea of returning to England as a dealer. A letter dated 3 October 1888 from Theo to London art dealer Sully & Lori has been found which refers to the purchase of a Corot landscape and a 'self-portrait by V. van Gogh'. This does not seem to refer to the any of the known self-portraits, and the letter raises the intriguing possibility that the picture could still be somewhere in England, unidentified."[4] Cfitzart 02:57, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

If someone commissions an artist to do a painting, then the artist does a painting and the client gives them money for that painting. There is a contract of sale, and the artist has sold the painting to them. Tyrenius 12:45, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


This article could use some cleanup of prose. I think with a little work it could really shine, and as time permits I'll be trying to improve it. Please respond to my edits here. --Ignignot 14:59, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Cleaned up: Birth and early life, Art dealer and Minister

These links were also used, next to te Dutch wiki and the original wiki information.
I originally added them as external links but a very tidy young man decided to remove them right away.
Killerdark 16:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Everything about his life should be in past tense. --Etacar11 16:32, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Ok, done. Killerdark 17:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
  • That tidy (but not so young) man would have been me. My apologies for that. Your changes just inspired me to try to clean up the quite messy and full of commercial stuff external links section. My goal was to only keep the links that really added value. If you want to re-add some of the links, go ahead. Thanks for your article improvements anyway. Janderk 23:52, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Dont worry, I just add the url, in case someone wondered if I was doing some copy pasting from a single articles. And the links are in the Talk. Killerdark 01:11, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Last words

Walther & Metzger give "I wish it were all over now". This obviously needs to be clarified with current last words in the article.

Tyrenius 21:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


I do not believe that Van Gogh is considered an Expressionist painter. He is most often considered a Post-Impressionist. Post-Impressionists were influenced by Impressionists such as Monet, Manet, Degas and Renior (some of the more famous) and worked mostly between 1880 and 1890. Expressionism is a very different type of painting, most notable are artists such as Munch, Kandinsky, Klee and Modigliani. Van Gogh's work is pure Post-Impressionistic and not Expressionist. His work, in fact, has often defined the catagory. true, his work fits into the Expressionist catagory, however their work was what CAME FROM Van Gogh's work.

From "" "Post-Impressionism is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of artists who were influenced by Impressionism but took their art in other directions.

There is no single well-defined style of Post-Impressionism, but in general it is less idyllic and more emotionally charged than Impressionist work. The classic Post-Impressionists are Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Rousseau and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Pointillists and Les Nabis are also generally included among the Post-Impressionists. Post-Impressionism France, 1880's to 1900"

also: "Expressionism is a style in which the intention is not to reproduce a subject accurately, but instead to portray it in such a way as to express the inner state of the artist. The movement is especially associated with Germany, and was influenced by such emotionally-charged styles as Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism. There are several different and somewhat overlapping groups of Expressionist artists, including Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), Die Brücke ("The Bridge"), Die Neue Sachlichkeit ("The New Objectivity") and the Bauhaus School. Leading Expressionists included Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, George Grosz and Amadeo Modigliani. Centered in Germany, C.1905 to 1940's"

-April 1, 2006

That is what the article says: " a Dutch painter, classified as a Post-impressionist" (in the first three lines). Later it says, "As the pioneer of what came to be known as Expressionism", i.e. it wasn't Expressionism at the time, because Expressionism didn't exist then. It existed later, and then Van Gogh was seen as a pioneer of it. It doesn't say he was an Expressionist.
Tyrenius 02:02, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This discussion is pedantic. Most serious artists make artwork. They do not debate whether they are "expressionists" or "post-impressionists". Usually it is the critics (contemporary and later) who make up these questionable distinctions. As one user noted, expressionism can be seen as a sub-category of post-impressionism (for all you typologists out there who simply must classify everything in a bucket) but in the end you must acknowledge the limits of these attempts to classify art.

-April 14, 2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Encyclopedias are pedantic. Tyrenius 22:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Medical Science Improvements

If I am not mistaken, didn't Vincent van Gogh have prominent influences in early medicine and such? I may be confusing him with someone else, but didn't he correctly identify almost all organs in the body and create drawings of it. I am sure he made improvements in the Anatomy field of medicine. Would anyone please update the site with this information... I would but I am not sure on this and I would not want to misinform anyone.

I think you are confusing him with Leonardo da Vinci who did that several hundred years earlier! Here's one of da Vinci's anatomy drawings on Wiki Leonardo da Vinci#Anatomy.
Tyrenius 22:28, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Earlobe myth

I removed this uncomfortable paragraph from the article: Another myth told is that he cut off his ear lobe because he was in a fight with his frined Paul Gauguin. But he cut off his ciculation and then soon died. Can someone cite a reference for it (and express it rather better) before reinstating it, please? Is it often thought that he died from cutting off his earlobe? --RobertGtalk 08:49, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Absolute nonsense (soon died). No one thinks that (apart from maybe this editor!). Furthermore, it's not myth about the fight (or at least disagreement) with Gauguin. That is the context and Gauguin has described it, although he gives differing versions at different times in his life. Tyrenius 16:36, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

In relation to this text in the article: although he did cut his ear, it was not the whole ear but part of it, at least the lobe and probably a little more with a diagonal cut, I just watched Vincent: The full story, where the presenter suggests van Gogh cut his ear to mimic the defeated bulls having their ear cut off by a mattador. Also, he claims that van Gogh cut an artery and bled everywhere in his accomodation. 12:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

This is a reputable source (and the critic whose information I used actually for the diagonal cut) so it is quite acceptable to use this information if you wish (and quoting reference), but, although it's interesting, I don't think it's necessary for the article. Tyrenius 14:39, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I find the bull's ear idea interesting enough to include, particularly in the context of him living in Arles, as bull games were an important part of the cultural life of the town, and the large Roman arena where they were held is an imposing enough sight, rising above one if one approaches from where the Yellow House was, and only a few minutes walk away. Stumps 15:09, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
It'll have to be referenced properly. Otherwise someone will delete it later thinking it's OR. Tyrenius 23:04, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes of course. I don't have access to Vincent: The full story at the moment, so can't do it myself. Anyhow, I'm now wondering if it isn't just another of those interesting (even intriguing) speculations about Van Gogh, like the pairs of potato pickers symbolizing the two Vincents ... the painter and his dead older brother. I'd be interested to see the documentary in question, to see how much the speculation about the bulls is backed up by evidence ... how big an impression did the local bull games make on Van Gogh (I dimly remember some letter where he refers to them as a 'simulacrum' of a bull fight, which doesn't sound as though he was struck particularly by the fighting itself, and in the one painting I recall of the arena he focussed on the crowd) ... and it would be also useful to back up the speculation by knowing how commonly the ear is damaged in cases of self-mutilation; if it's an unusual target then this might lend strength to the bull connection. If the speculation is well backed up, and we can provide the reference, then let's try to add it, anything else and it is too close to OR. — Stumps 08:09, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
If Januzczak said it then it's not OR. NOR only refers to a wiki editor's OR, not to a critic's OR. If an editor is citing a critic's ideas, then the editor is drawing from a verifiable source. It's interesting, but I think the priority is just getting more of the bog standard info on Van Gogh into the article. I put in the basics at one stage, and was aware of the gaps that were still left, but I'm now working on other things. Tyrenius 09:18, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Just a note: Lubin, in Stranger on the Earth: A Psychological Biography of Vincent van Gogh (Da Capo, 1996) also discusses the bull's ear idea, but I don't have my copy with me at the moment. Stumps 10:07, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
William McKinley Runyan wrote an article in which he lists 13 distinct theories on the reason Van Gogh cut his ear off and each is from a reputable source and cited, so if this article gives creedance to any particular theory it would be a mistake : McKinley Runyan, William. (1981). Why did Van Gogh cut off his ear? The problem of alternative explanations in psychobiography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(6), 1070-1077. Plumlogan (talk) 21:30, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to add cited information. Ty 00:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Before this paragraph looked like: 'Another myth told is that he cut off his ear lobe because he was in a fight with his girlfriend...'. I thought that was definitely wrong because the one fighting with Vicent was Gauguin. So I removed the girlfriend thing and put Gauguin there. Didn't even notice in the later part it also said 'die because of this'... Anyway, I agree to remove this inaccurate part. 16 May 2006 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Constant vandalism of this page

This page attracts constant vandalism from anon editors. I left a request for semi-protection (i.e. stopping anon edits) but this was declined on the basis that there hadn't been very recent vandalism at the time of my request. However, it wasn't long before the next vandal edit occurred. If you think this page should be semi-protected, please add your name below, as a consensus request will carry more weight. Sign 4 tildes ~ to leave your name and date. I will give this 5 days to see if there is a consensus.Tyrenius 19:34, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Agree with request for semi protection:

  • Tyrenius 19:34, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
  • M1ss1ontomars2k4 | T | C | @ 01:20, 18 May 2006 (UTC) about 30% of last 100 edits were reverts. Stop wasting our time.
  • Etacar11 01:58, 18 May 2006 (UTC) I'd have to agree.

*Scoutersig 03:09, 18 May 2006 (UTC) I agree with the semi-protection for the page; the vast majorty of vandalism on this page is from unregistered users using anonymous IP addresses. By restricting edits to registered members, two things should result: one, that vandalism should go down due to the increased effort needed to edit; and two, we can create a 'track record' of vandals. see below

  • Mach10 04:32, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Cosmopolitancats 23:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC) I had a quick look at the hitory pages - it seems to me that much time and effort is being wasted on reverting vandalism which might be better employed in improving the article. Given the current level of development anybody interested in making a serious contribution to this article is not going to be put off by the need to register and log-in. Do those who are more familiar with this page think that recent anonymous edits have added much of value?

Disagree with request for semi protection:

  • Wes!Tc 03:40, 18 May 2006 (UTC): I agree that certain pages, particularly FAs, should be protected from anonymous and new users. I definitely understand that a majority of vandalism to this page is the result of anonymous editors. However, this article is nowhere near FA and has so much needed expansion that closing off anonymous contributions would likely lessen or halt any valuable changes in the coming months. If we could get this page nominated as a collaboration of the week, I would support its protection once it has more substance to protect. As per Stumps, the vandalism usually pretty obvious and if a few more editors would like to add it to their watchlists, I think we can keep the vandalism in check...
  • Scoutersig 15:20, 22 May 2006 (UTC): After looking at the Wiki guidelines/rules on vandalism, and watching this page and others, I am changing my vote to subscribe with my newly-poured foundation of a belief in the inherent benefits of anonymous edits. Please see Wikipedia:Assume good faith, Wikipedia:Vandalism, and Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy
    • Please note the semi-protection policy allows: "certain pages with a history of vandalism and other problems may be semi-protected on a pre-emptive, continuous basis." I notice you haven't as yet reverted any of the vandalism on this article. Will you be keeping a watch on the page and doing this in the future? Tyrenius 15:42, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Replied on user page. Scoutersig 00:05, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Reply copied from my user page follows. Tyrenius 00:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Tyrenius: Van Gogh is now on my watchlist, which I hope to frequent daily until summer begins (and I move into the internet-less mountains). I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for your tireless help and concern. Scoutersig 00:04, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


  • I'm new to this page so I'd like to see how disruptive the vandalism is ... from a quick look at the history it seems to be more at the silly schoolboy end of the spectrum than a concerted edit-war or other real productivity killer. My guess is that it might be a bit like the Mozart article which has a pretty much constant background noise of minor vandalism: annoying, dispriting at times, but given current policy maybe not enough for a semi-protect .. but like I said at the start, I'd like to hang around for a few days and see how bad the vandalism gets. Anyhow, the page is on my watch list and I'll be glad to help out with reverting nonsense. Stumps 20:47, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
It's the guaranteed relentlessness of it day after day (judging from the history) that is the problem, due I presume to the subject, which attracts it. It wastes editors' time and also clogs up the history. Tyrenius 02:45, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Conclusion: With 4 supporting and 2 opposing, I don't feel there is a consensus for semi-protection. Any comments welcome on this. I propose leaving this open so anyone is welcome to add to the above discussion. Tyrenius 00:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Painting from memory

I have removed the sentence "Van Gogh deferring to Gauguin's lead that this should be (uncharacteristically for Van Gogh) from memory." from the paragraph on Gauguin's arrival in Arles, as this is (I believe) not true for ALL the painting they did together. I have replaced it with a sourced reference to their early Alyscamps expedition. Naturally, I'd be happy for the original text to be reinstated if it were appropriately qualified, and there was a source for it. Stumps 21:43, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

It's a noteworthy point that it did occur. I have reworded it, so it doesn't imply he painted ALL the work from memory at this time. Tyrenius 23:27, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Renting the Yellow House ... what price was disputed?

I have some questions about the sentences in the current article: "In May he paid 15 francs a month to rent the four rooms in the right hand side of the "yellow house" (so called because its outside walls were yellow) in Place Lamartine. Because of a disagreement about the price, he stayed at Joseph and Marie Ginoux' station café and became friends with them." This states that there was a dispute over the price of the Yellow House, but according to Gayford (in The Yellow House, page 16) the dispute was over the cost of a hotel: Vincent had been staying at the Hôtel Restaurant Carrell in the Rue de la Cavalrie originally at a cost of five francs a week, which had been reduced to four francs a week, however Vincent still felt he was being overcharged. On 1 May he signed the lease for the Yellow House but was unable to move in straight away as it needed furnishing and general repairs, as it had been uninhabited for some time. On 7 May the dispute at the Hôtel Restaurant Carrell had grown "acrimonious", and it was then that he moved to the Café de la Gare. If there are no serious objections, I will start to rework the sentences accordingly. — Stumps 22:09, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please do. I think I may have put that in, based on a review of Gayford. Tyrenius 23:28, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
The issue of price is a little confused. Alfred Nemeczek (Van Gogh in Arles, Prestel Verlag, 1999, ISBN 3-7913-2230-3, pages 59 – 61) agrees that the 'Hotel Carrel' was overcharging him, and further states that Vincent took the dispute to the "local arbitrator" and was awarded a reduction of 12 francs on his bill. This is presumably the change from 5 francs to 4 francs, mentioned by Gayford? Vincent had arrived in Arles on 20 February ... if the date of the dispute was 7 May then this is exactly 11 weeks (1888 being a leap year), so the reduction of 12 francs is equivalent to a reduction of 1 franc per week (from 5 to 4) for 12 weeks. Nemeczek then goes on to state that the rate at the rate at the Café de la Gare was 1.50 a night! This seems much more expensive, but maybe this also included food? Stumps 08:35, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Wiki procedure is simply to quote the existing verifiable sources and not to decide which is right, as that would be OR. It's not a major point, so one solution is to detour round the unresolved statements, and keep in the general point of overcharging. Fascinating stuff nevertheless. Tyrenius 09:31, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Just a further note on this (primarily so I can keep track of it all, but it does give a nice example of the necessary discussion of how reliable our sources are) ... Philip Callow (in Vincent Van Gogh: A Life, Ivan, R, Dee, 1990, ISBN 1-56663-134-3) is a contradictory source on the question of where Vincent was staying: "For the time being Vincent was sleeping at the Café de l'Alcazar (the famous Night Café of the painting to come) and using the Yellow House as a studio only. Now and then he took meals at the Café de la Gare, run by the Ginoux family" (page 219) Stumps 16:45, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Gayford seems to have done additional research since then. I think the best thing is to go with Gayford, and, if you think it necessary, to put the differing info in a footnote. I've changed the headings so there is a proper Footnotes section. Tyrenius 12:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Like Shakespeare and Dickens

Another quibble ... the sentence "Like Shakespeare and Dickens, he is acknowledged to be both popular and great." Interestingly Shakespeare and Dickens were both popular in their own lifetime, whereas Van Gogh wasn't. Furthermore, I remember hearing David Mamet grumble in an interview that he didn't really like Dickens, but preferred Trollope .. some maybe he is not indisputably 'great'. I think Mozart might be a slightly better analogy, although again far from ideal, as his posthumous popularity was far greater than his success in his own lifetime. I will change the article to read "Shakespeare and Mozart" (I also like it because it gives us names from different arts). Although Shakespeare may not be the best analogy, I'm happy to leave him in as Vincent admired him greatly. — Stumps 22:21, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I took this out altogether as it's a bit OR and usubstantiated. I feel it would need a source to be quoted. Tyrenius 23:08, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

No problem ... I thought the role that the English critics played in establishing his reputation was interesting enough, but it seemed a bit out of place and unproportional as it stood. With some proper references a cut down version of it might be worth reinstating. Stumps 07:34, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


It seems to me that some of the references given are not very specific. I have been trying to find the Transformations book mentioned. The closest I can find is Roger Fry's Transformations: Critical and Speculative Essays on Art. However, this book was first published in 1926 and reprinted in 1968, and is only 230 pages long. The book listed in the references section is dated 1956 and the pages cited are 235-236. The publisher is wrong, too. But the book does have a section in it devoted to Van Gogh, at least according to the online summary. Can anyone get ahold of a copy and check? My library does not carry it. CClio333 00:02, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe there's been some other form of reprint. I did a substantial rewrite of the whole article a while back and took the info from the two books mentioned under the "Books" heading. I didn't know about footnotes at the time. Tyrenius 00:32, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Stating département and country possibly unnecessary in naming of places

I think we can perhaps remove the full qualification of Bouches-du-Rhône, France following for example Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence, as the articles on those towns give all the formal specification of which département etc. they are to be found in. Instead perhaps we can say something a little more descriptive of the places at that time, to give the reader more of a 'feel' for the locale. I will see if I can find some appropriately sourced statements, and make an attempt at changing this, unless there are strong objections. Stumps 04:54, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me. Saint Remy and Auvers sections could do with expanding to hold their own with the earlier sections of his life. Please be bold! Tyrenius 04:59, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Dr Peyron's first name is?

I added the name Théophile to Doctor Peyron, of St Remy, which does seem well backed up by material on the internet. However, I've just noticed that Callow refers to him as "Theodore" (page 247) ... another Callow mistake perhaps? Does anyone have clear evidence one way or the other? Stumps 20:52, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


I see someone recently added the Category 'Vegetarians' to the article. I'm interested in trying to substantiate this. One reference I've found is in Callow (page 55) where he is describing Vincent's time in Dordrecht ... "At the table he preferred not to eat meat or gravy. Whether this vegetarianism continued for any length of time is unclear." This is probably enough to justify the category, although it's not fully clear that Vincent shouldn't simply be in a category of 'people who didn't look after themselves, failed to eat properly, and had a long history of stomach trouble'. Stumps 08:05, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I've just found the following statement: "Vincent van Gogh became a vegetarian after visiting a slaughterhouse" in 'Fish, Flesh and Foul' by Steven G. Kellman in the magazine American Scholar, Volume 69, number 4, Autumn 2000, page 85. Stumps 09:07, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I've found some references to meat in the letters, but nothing conclusive one way or the other ...
  • Vincent reports to Theo on medical advice given to Sien: "Meat is good for her, but once or twice a week is sufficient; it is not necessary every day." letter 15-16 July 1882
  • Vincent writes to Theo from Saint-Rémy, and in a postscript describes conditions in the asylum, saying how the patients are fed "with stale and slightly spoiled food" ... he goes on to say "And I will tell you now that from the first day I refused to take this food, and until my attack I ate only bread and a little soup, and as long as I remain here I shall continue this way. It is true that after this attack M. Peyron gave me some wine and meat, which I accepted willingly the first days, but I wouldn't want to be an exception to the rule for long, and it is right to respect the regular rules of the establishment." letter 7 or 8 September 1889
  • Theo writes to Vincent, in a pos in Saint-Rémy and advises him to "fortify his body" and says "It is also necessary for you to eat meat." letter 18 September 1889.
So it seems that both brothers believed that eating meat was healthy, and Vincent - at least in his Saint-Rémy period - accepted meat when it was given to him. Stumps 09:25, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
P. C. Görlitz, Vincent's roommate in Dordrecht, in a letter to Frederik van Eeden, to help him with preparation for his article on van Gogh in De Nieuwe Gids (issue 1 December, 1890) recalled: "In the afternoon, at the table, the three of us would eat with the appetite of famished wolves; not he, he would not eat meat, only a little morsel on Sundays, and then only after being urged by our landlady for a long time. Four potatoes with a suspicion of gravy and a mouthful of vegetables constituted his whole dinner. To our insistence that he make a hearty dinner and eat meat, he would answer, "To a human being physical life ought to be a paltry detail; vegetable food is sufficient, all the rest is luxury." ... from Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait; Letters Revealing His Life as a Painter. New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, CT. 1961. pages 37 - 39. This suggests that at this time, van Gogh held vegetarian views, but at times at a little meat — Stumps 09:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I've added a sentence to the article about Görlitz's recollection, with a lengthy footnote. Stumps 10:02, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I do not think this meets the point. My experience in Holland since 1976, about 30 years altogether, tells me that meat, sausage etc. are considered to accompany the main course, consisting of mashed potatoes ("stampot") or a variant with other vegetables ("huitspot") (I hope my remembrance of the spelling is correct, but I am really not sure). Anyway, I do not think that the Netherlands are to be considered a homeland of vegetarians, nor would I go for some kind of Van Gogh's vegetarism. I would simply propose to put it at the appropriate level: Potatoes & vegetables was the food of everybody (compare Vincent's "Potato Eaters"), and meat has something of upper-class (therefore bad thought in Netherlands northern = protestant provinces). That's why I would suggest to delete the link to the categorie "vegetarians" and related nonsense. --R.P.D. 01:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It's not huitspot, but hutsepot —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:41, 1 August 2007.


I'd like to clarify the Geel episode. Januszczak portrays it as a threatening move made by Theodorus (Van Gogh's father), in an attempt to force Vincent to give up Sien; Callow takes the same line. However Erickson (pp 67-68), basing her account on Jan Hulsker's work, and the 1990 Dutch edition of the letters which included certain passages excluded from the 1958 edition, dates the Geel episode in 1880. In particular there is a passage in the letter 158 (Etten, 18 November 1881) "I can't believe a father is right who curses his son and, think of last year, wants to send him to a madhouse." Does anybody have any more information on this? For now I'll leave the article following the Januszczak /Callow line. Stumps 10:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The current version has the Erickson line (Van Gogh's father) with the Callow reference! It would be good if the above info could be compressed into an informative footnote. Very good research. Tyrenius 10:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks ... yes you're right about the somewhat mixed content & ref, although both versions agree that it was Van Gogh's father (sorry for not making this clear); I will fix this up, and expand the footnote. I think it is the dating of the Geel matter that is in doubt. Vincent lived with Sien from very early 82 to September 83; but the Erickson account puts the Geel incident in 1880, which puts it earlier even than his time in Etten. I would have guessed that if it wasn't directly related to the Sien affair, then the Geel inscident might have come about as a result of conflict at Etten, but I think the 1880 date means that it might have been related to Vincent's inability to support himself (Vincent's long stay at Etten started in April 1881), and perhaps as some sort of reaction news (from Theo) of Vincent's living conditions in the Borinage after he lost the temporary job he had there. Anyhow all this rambling is just idle speculation of course, which is why I'm hoping for some specific sources which might clear it up. Stumps 11:32, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The proper procedure is to stick to the sources, and, if necessary, state the conflict. There could of course have been any number of threats in difficult moments, mostly unrecorded... Tyrenius 12:26, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I'm really just keeping track of my thoughts here, and waving a hand for help. I'll stick to sources of course, I'll see what else I can dig up in the next few days. You make a good point about unrecorded threats in difficult moments ... we certainly know there were heated arguments between father and son. The full context of the quote in question runs: "Now while I am very distressed and sorry about it all, I simply cannot agree that a father who curses his son and (remember last year) proposes to send him to a lunatic asylum (which naturally I resisted with all my might) and who calls his son's love `inappropriate and indelicate' (!!!), is in the right. Whenever Father loses his temper he is used to having everyone, myself included, give in to him. However, I had made up my mind in God's name to let this fit of temper rage on for once. In anger Father also said something about my having to move away somewhere else, but because it was said in anger, I do not attach much importance to it."letter 158. The 'inappropriate and indelicate' love is presumably the love for Kee, by the date of the letter (Nov 81), the attempt to put Vincent in an asylum must have been from an earlier time. Van Gogh stayed in Etten in the spring of 1880, and Hulsker suggests that the Geel episode occurred at that time (Jan Hulsker's speech The Borinage Episode and the Misrepresentation of Vincent van Gogh, Van Gogh Symposium, 10-11 May 1990) Stumps 15:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The Gheel episode probably caused Vincent's flight to the Borinage, March 1880 or later - and in the first days of June 1880, he felt forced to write Theo in order to thank him for money, and to justify his behavior. Hélas, at present I have little time to go into details, but I promise to be back as soon as possible. --wunny 21:45, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

copied from R.P.D.'s talk page ...

"Gheel" happened in 1880, as we know from a letter of 1881. But for the time between August 1879 and August 1880, there is little documentation
Mother wrote Theo on 19 August 1879 that "after much pressure" Vincent stood at their door, took place and started to read.
Father wrote Theo on 11 March 1880 that "Vincent is still here", but Father is at the end of his patience.
In the first days of July 1880, Vincent wrote to Theo to thank him for money (Letter 133)
Theo forwarded Vincent's letter to their parents, who respond on 5 July 1880
Vincent breaks his silence, taking up again the correspondence with Theo, on 20 August 1880 (Letter 134)
The essential parts of the family correspondance with Theo are published in: Jan Hulsker, Vincent and Theo van Gogh, a dual biography. Fuller Publications, Ann Arbor, 1990. ISBN 0-940537-05-2
So far, the facts. On this base, Hulsker opted for a return of Vincent to the Borinage late in 1879, coming back to Etten early in 1880 and then finally returning to Cuesmes. The only reason for this interpretation: Vincent had announced that he would go back to his parents "only for a few days" (Letter 132). From my point of view no reason to "reconstruct" an itinerary like this, and at all, taking into account Vincent's financial situation this is little plausible.
Things go easier, if one is simply connecting the information we have: 15 August 1879 Vincent returns to his parents in Etten, in March 1880 he is still there. Now Father tries to put him into the asylum in Gheel, but Vincent escapes to Cuesmes. - As far as I see, this is the most reasonable interpretation of the few facts we have. The main problem to put it into Wikipedia will probably be that it is not yet published, but this will happen soon in the forthcoming Van Gogh-catalogue of Budapest 2006. If you want or need to do so, you can use my full name. --R.P.D. 20:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I suggest proceeding on this basis if Stumps is happy with it. The bottom line is that wiki works by consensus, and if the involved editors are in agreement, it doesn't present an issue. Tyrenius 08:44, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
This seems to be a simple and plausible account based on what facts are available. I want to check a few details, but it looks good, and I'll try to work it into the article soon. Stumps 08:59, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
R.P.D.'s account makes good sense. The to Theo from their father, 11 March 1880, is important: "Vincent is still here - but alas! it is nothing but worry. Now he is talking about going to London in order to speak with the Reverend Jones. If he sticks to that plan, I'll enable him to go, but it is hopeless." This certainly does indicate that he is at the end of his patience with Vincent. Vincent is not supporting himself, he doesn't stick to his plans. So Vincent has a history of changing his plans ... so why indeed should we put much trust in his statement "And so, despite my great reluctance and though it is a hard course for me to take, I may yet go to Etten, at least for a few days." from his August 1879 letter (#132)? — Stumps 11:26, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Aside about affectation .. do we need it?

I'm not sure about including the sentence 'Using the Dutch pronunciation for this School of Paris painter was once a popular affectation.' ... it is unsourced, and not particularly relevant. Also 'School of Paris' seems a little odd ... perhaps not downright wrong, but somehow a bit off-target. Any ideas? Stumps 09:36, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your points. Should be deleted. I suggest for future issues of this kind you edit boldly, and if anyone disputes, we can discuss. Tyrenius 14:50, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

References for myths and other material

The diagonal cut of the ear was from Martin Gayford's recent work.

Not painting during mad periods - I can't place reference specifically. It may be the Phaidon book on him, or one of these two:

Walther, Ingo F. and Metzger, Rainer (1997), Van Gogh: the Complete Paintings, Benedikt Taschen, ISBN 3822882658
Beaujean, Dieter (1999), "Vincent van Gogh: Life and Work", Könemann ISBN 3829029381

Please note some time ago (21–24 February 2006) I did a rewrite and expansion of the article. The two books above were my sources, but I wasn't acquainted properly with footnotes at the time, so I just listed the books under References. Tyrenius 19:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The Yellow House & The Studio of the South

The Studio of the South, where he intended to found a Utopian art colony, in Vincent's correspondance post-dates to the renting: This idea appears in his first letter after having already rented (vulgo: created facts). --wunny 01:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, if that's the case, please put it in the article! Tyrenius 01:28, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Where is the explicit reference to a "Studio of the South" I can't locate it at the moment. In the letter written on the day (1 May 1888) he rented the yellow house (letter 480) he writes "I could quite well share the new studio with someone, and I should like to. Perhaps Gauguin will come south?" Almost as soon as he arrived he was trying to attract other painters to the place to join him. On 12/13 June 1888 he writes "If Gauguin were willing to join us it would be, I think, a step forward for us. It would establish us squarely as the openers-up of the South, and nobody could argue with that." (letter 497) and on 8 August this: "I'd gladly content myself with being a pioneer for the other painters of the future who come to work in the South." (letter 519). It seems the ideas continued forming as he established himself there. I'll check some sources. Stumps 13:20, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Please give me some days to answer and to suggest alterations. People are waiting for a contribution, and dead-line is aproaching. Hope you understand, --wunny 21:55, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, the term "Studio of the South" was probably coined recently by the curators of the exhibition in Chicago & Amsterdam in 2001/2002 [[ISBN 0-500-51054-7 and ISBN 0-86559-194-6]], but it is well founded on Van Gogh's letters, the earliest dating from begin of September 1888 (Letter 532: "un atelier dans le midi") coming close to this term. On the other hand it is evident that Vincent wanted to push his brother Theo into this direction, from the moment he had rented romms at 2 place Lamartine in Arles (cf. Letters 480 ff.) --wunny 23:42, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguate Theo and Vincent

A suggestion is that we use Van Gogh throughout for Vincent, and refer to Theo Van Gogh or Theo as appropriate. Similarly for parents. As long as this protocol is stated clearly (and also stated that he himself used Vincent), it avoids jumping between Vincent and Van Gogh. Another alternative is Vincent throughout, which I think is inferior in encyclopedic tone. Tyrenius 23:08, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd agree, absolutely, having fought for this distinction some years. But everybody has to be aware that he called himself Vincent, since 1881. --wunny 23:41, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
In theory I agree, but in practice I think such a rule might lead to copyediting problems. For instance consider the text currently in the article: "In an effort to support his wish to become a pastor, his family sent him to Amsterdam in May 1877 where he lived with his uncle Jan van Gogh, a rear admiral in the navy, Vincent prepared for university ..." With the appearance of "Jan van Gogh" 7 words before "Vincent" I suspect that "Vincent" is somewhat clearer to the reader than if we substituted "Van Gogh". I do not have strong feelings on this matter; this is rather something of a caveat. I agree in principle, and there are certainly several places in the article where 'Vincent' could — and no doubt should — be replaced with 'Van Gogh'. I'm just a little wary of making a hard and fast rule on the matter: remember that fifth pillar: Ignore All Rules. · Stumps 14:31, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree, for here it is really only a matter of content to clearify the relation Jan/Vincent. --wunny 19:38, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's a rule in that sense. It's a stylistic consistency. In the passage you mention, I have to agree with you. I suggest then a use of Van Gogh, except where sense and style demands Vincent. Tyrenius 03:47, 2 July 2006 (UTC)


According to the related lemmata, I have changed the link from Sanatorium to Psychiatric hospital, in accordance to the official name "Maison de santé de Saint-Rémy-en-Provencce". --wunny 19:50, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


This has been copied from the talk page of wunny
This time some general remarks on the lemma and its present state. There are 3 points I would suggest to reconsider:

1. The present introduction is too long, and the lemma in its whole all but well structured.

2. Most of the text refers to secondary sources, and therefore contains personal views pushed by the authors referred to.

3. Van Gogh's primary contribution to civilisation, Western culture or however you want to call it, is difficult to appreciate from this text.

Therefore I would suggest to restructure the lemma, for example:

Pronounciation & Spelling
Primary Sources
Early Life (1853-1880), Borinage & Brussels (1880-1881), Etten (1881); The Hague & Drenthe (1881-1883); Nuenen (1883-1885); Antwerp (1885/1886); Paris (1886-1888); Arles, St.Rémy, Auvers
Draughtsman - Painter - ...
Posthumous Fame
Early exhibitions: The 1890s - 1900-1914 - 1914-1945
Early promotors
Early collectors
Present state of things

Notes, references &c.

Looking forward to hearing from you, --wunny 21:11, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Good proposal. We'll need to keep the standard wiki "lead section" as a stand-alone summary of what follows. I'd suggest finding a place in the above scheme ... presumably under 'Scholarship'?? ... for the section currently titled "Illness" as there are a lot of theories and interest on this topic as well, and a seperate 'main article' on the topic. Stumps 08:45, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


Firstly, I'm not familiar with the term "lemma", so you might like to clarify that.
1. I agree intro a tad on the long side. It is not called an introduction, but a lead section. As in Lead section, this is the purpose of it:

The lead section should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, be written in a clear and accessible style, and should first offer the topic's most interesting points, including a mention of the topic's most prominent controversies.

2. This is inevitable and is actually wiki policy under Verify. Wiki is essentially a compilation of secondary sources and whatever points of view they have. Direct use of primary sources is usually discouraged under NOR.
3. Obviously this should be made clear.

The only other obvious points that strike me is that this article is a biographical one, so the sections on pronunciation and primary sources should come at the end, not the beginning. I have listed some useful pages on article writing here on my talk page.
Tyrenius 22:44, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I thought the term "lemma" is common knowledge, as it points to the key entry in a dictionary, encyclopedia etc. [5]
I am well aware that it will need some time until I really can contribute an entry, but until then I hope critical remarks will be welcome: They will concentrate on verification, and strictly refer to reliable secondary literature.
And be assured, few of the items referred to now can be called reliable.
I shall be back soon with some examples,
but at first I shall alter my pseudonym into my initials
--wunny 19:44, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


1. Present state of Wiki-knowledge: "Theo was convinced that one day his brother would be to art what Beethoven was to music.[1]" From the foot note, one learns that this is based on oral communication between Ken Wilkie and the Dr. Ir. Vincent Willem van Gogh. Is this a reliable source? At least, the Wikipedia-statement should be altered into something like: "Vincent Willem van Gogh, the artist's nephew, recalled that his father was convinced ...". Just keep in mind, Vincent Willem, born January 31, 1890, was six months old, when his uncle Vincent died on July 29. About seventy years later, at the end of a successful carreer, the Vincent van Gogh Foundation took over the artist's estate, which Vincent Willem had cared for since the death of his mother. To these final years of the "Ir. Vincent", Wilkie now adds his personal recollections on the "Ir.". - Is this really a "reliable source"? --wunny 21:34, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree the article's current wording "Theo was convinced ..." puts it too strongly. Interestingly there was back in early May this year a completely unsourced statement in the intro "Like Shakespeare and Dickens, he is acknowledged to be both popular and great." I think it was I who ended up putting in the Beethoven comparison, as at least there was some citable source for it, although I was a bit lazy with the footnote! Wilkie mentions Theo's Beethoven comparison again later (page 162), this time attributing it to Theo in a conversation with his friend Isaacson (the one who wrote the early enthusiastic review) ... this is quite likely where the Engineer Vincent Willem got the idea from, so there's probably only one source - Isaacson - but what is it??? ... I'll see what I can find, and also of course reword the article to better reflect the 'status' of this remark. Thanks. Stumps 18:26, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Reference is to Wilkie, The Van Gogh Assignment, 1990. p. 16 and p. 162. But the gentleman does not reveal his source. It is true that Wilkie, then Journalist and editor of the KLM-Magazine Holland Herald, has gathered pretty much information, but most of this information still is without counter-check, and I fear it will stay like this. --wunny 22:08, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Nevertheless from a wiki point of view, it is acceptable. However, your knowledge of the subject is to be valued (and certainly far greater than mine) and I would certainly not object if you wish to edit in accord with that knowledge, so, when you have time, please do so. Tyrenius 05:12, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Roger Fry

is an important art critic for the anglo-saxon community. But for the multilingual European community at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, others were more important: Aurier, for example, who published the first exhaustive critique in 1890; Mirbeau took up his track in the year following, and Leclercq continued. Vollard stood aside, watching the development of the market and buying. Then Meier-Graefe turnt up, putting Van Gogh into historical and internatioanl context (the first edition of 1904, availabe only in German, is differing considerably of the later ones). In 1911 Bremmer first claimed national Dutch interests, but the reception kept the international claim: That's the point, when Fry intervened to support Van Gogh and other Post-Impressionists.

If you really would like to have them, I can supply the sources.--R.P.D. 02:49, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this part of the article needs a lot of work. I guess the points to cover might include some of these:
  • Isaacson's 17 August 1889 article in the weekly Die Portefeuille
  • Albert Aurier's article 'Les Isolés' in Mercure de France, January 1890, pp. 24-29
  • also of less interest are ...
  • Johan de Meester's ...
    • 'Vincent van Gogh', in Algemeen Handelsblad, 31 December 1890
    • 'Vincent van Gogh', in Nederland, March 1891
  • Octave Mirbeau's article in L'Echo de Paris, 1 March 1891
  • Vincent's friend Émile Bernard's articles in...
    • La Plume 3 1 September 1891
    • Les hommes d’aujourd’hui 8, 1891
    • and also his 'Preface' in the Mercure de France April 1893
  • and maybe?? ...
  • Julien Leclerqc's Introduction in Exposition d’Oeuvres de Vincent van Gogh, Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, March 1901
  • Julius Meier-Graefe's
    • Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst Stuttgart, 1904 & Munich 1927
    • Über Vincent van Gogh', Sozialistisches Monatshefte February 1906
    • Vincent van Gogh, Munich 1912
    • Van Gogh der Zeichner Berlin (Otto Wacker), 1928.
  • Johan Cohen-Gosschalk's 'Vincent van Gogh', in Elsevier’s Geillustreerd Maandschrift 30, 1905
  • A. van Bever's 'Les Ainés: Un peintre maudit, Vincent van Gogh' in La Plume 1, 15 June 1905
  • of side interest ...
    • Charles Morice, 'Le XXIe Salon des Indépendants', in Mercure de France 15 April 1905
  • Marie de Roode-Herijermans: 'De van Gogh tentoonstelling der vereeniging "Kunst aan het Volk"', in Nieuwe Tijd 20, February 1915
  • Gustave Coquiot's Vincent van Gogh, Paris, 1923
And the catalogues such as ...
  • R.N. Roland-Holst Tentoonstelling der nagelaten werken van Gogh, Amsterdam (Panoramazaal) December 1892-February 1893
  • Albert Plasschaert's Introduction to the Exhibition of Paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the Art Gallery "Arts and Crafts", The Hague, 1898
  • LeClerqc's introduction 1901 (see above)
  • Jacob Baart de la Faille's L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1928
I don't know whether here is the pace to mention Aurier's early death (aged 27) from typhoid in 1892, which prevented him from working on the biography of Vincent that Theo had proposed to him.
Also possibly worth noting exhibitions:
  • possibly the 1898 Helsinki, Oslo, and Stockholm travelling exhibition of French art organized by Fannie Flodin Leclercq
  • the 1892 exhibition at the 'Panorama' Gallery
  • the 1901 exhibition at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery (Julien Leclercq's involvement can be noted)
  • the 1910 London exhibition (this is wheer Roger Fry comes in)
  • the 1912 Cologne exhibition
  • Otto Wacker's December 1927 exhibition (which is where we can talk about the fakes perhaps)
  • the Museum of Modern Art, New York, exhibition of 1929.
Possibly useful sources ...
  • Patricia Mathews, 'Aurier and Van Gogh', The Art Bulletin, 68, March 1986
  • Marja Supinen, 'Julien Leclercq: A Champion of the Unknown Vincent van Gogh', in Jong Holland 1990, Number 6
  • Christian Lenz, 'Julius Meier-Graefe and his Relation to Van Gogh'
Anything else we should add? Stumps 07:14, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I think if you're really going to detail all that material (which would be excellent) it will overload the main article, so you should start a new article for it, calling it "Van Gogh critics" or some such, then put a summary of it in the main VG article with a link to the new article. Tyrenius 08:44, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed ... I think we can "break out" other subsidiary "main articles" from any section once the section gets too big or cumbersomely overloaded with references. I suspect sections of the biography might also go the same way once we've done enough work on them. Stumps 08:49, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Certainly. However, I don't intend at the moment to do editing on this article, because of other priorities. I think you and RPD make a very proficient team with outstanding research work. It would be great to have a top notch article on such an important and popular artist. Tyrenius 10:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

General reader, clarification, NPOV, NOR, verification

Just a word of caution about current and future edits, so that the current standard of editing doesn't leave wikipedia behind! We have to remember this is for the general reader, who wants to find out about a subject, not for scholars who already have a knowledge, so it is important that explanations and definitions are provided.

loans arranged by Cassirer, Bernheim Jeune and others.

It needs to be stated who they are, e.g. "arranged by early patrons Cassirer....etc".

controlled the prices

Clarify? Control in what way? Use a monopoly to maintain high prices?

Sonderbund exhibition of 1912 in Cologne

Who/what is Sonderbund?

the disaster overshadowing all Van Gogh-research since then occured:

This needs to be toned down for NPOV or referenced if it is to stay.

Otto Wacker

Who's Otto Wacker?

a marvellous exhibition of drawings

More neutral and objective word needed than "marvellous" or reference with a quote.

Julius Meier-Graefe

Who's he?

Paul Cassirer's

Again needs to be explained.

the scandal was perfect.

This needs to be explained. Also referenced, or it will eventually be challenged and deleted. Remember NOR.

Thanks. Tyrenius 02:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Good questions on the new text: I think it will be fairly easy to clarify and footnote this very welcome new material. I'll make a start soon. Stumps 04:57, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I did notice some spelling mistakes from R.P.D. but didn't have time to go through. As he's not a native speaker, this (and sometimes the idiom etc) is going to need ongoing back-up. Tyrenius 05:14, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Vincent and Courrières

copied from R.P.D.'s talk page...

What is your view about where the week's walk to Courrières fits in? Vincent says 'winter', he slept in the open, and saw haystacks which presumably were built large enough to last through the winter ... is there anything else that can help us know when this happened? — Stumps 11:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

He hoped to find work, and says he would have accepted anything. In this moment I think he did no longer count on support from his family. So a date shortly after his flight to Borinage would make sense, and second half of March 1880 meets the seasonal indications: rain, hoarfrost. --R.P.D. 15:23, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks ... late March happily matches the guess I had put at Vincent van Gogh chronology (another article that could do with your assistance!). I vaguely recall (don't have the book with me at the moment) that Gayford puts this in "early spring". Stumps 15:54, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Vincent & Gauguin

Present version: "In the winter of 1886 he met and befriended Paul Gauguin, who had just arrived in Paris." Both artists probably met first in November 1887, after Gauguin's return from Martinique. See D. Druick & P. Zegers, Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South. Thames & Hudson 2001, p. 81pp.--R.P.D. 21:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Well spotted. I haven't turned my attention to this section yet, but will do so shortly. Gayford (page 50) agrees with the November 1887 date, but adds the bracketed comment "(if they had not bumped into each other in the hurly-burly of Parisian bohemia)". At this stage I can only assume that 1886 is a mistake. I will fix the article and check a few other sources. Stumps 06:44, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


Recent edit mentions paintings held in the Tate Gallery (but links to the disambiguation page National Gallery ?) ... there was Stoop bequest in 1933. Perhaps the reference should be to the National Gallery, London which bought (or rather the Trustees of the Courtauld Fund bought) A Wheatfield, with Cypresses in 1923; Sunflowers & Vincent's chair in 1924, and Long Grass with Butterflies in 1926. Were these the paintings in mind? Stumps 06:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I can't check it at the moment, but remember vaguely that the Tate was separated from the NG only after World War II and the paintings acquired from the Courtauld Fund were on display at Millbank (today Tate Britain). Soon more, --R.P.D. 11:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The split was in 1954 I think. A Wheatfield, with Cypresses and Van Gogh's chair were returned to the NG from the Tate in 1961. I don't know if they were always exhibited at Millbank. I guess the name of the institution at that time was the "National Gallery of British Art" Stumps 11:50, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The "Modern Foreign Collection" was part of the National Gallery, and got its own building as an annex to the original Tate Gallery on Millbank. So the Courtauld Gift was to the National Gallery's new branch. At about that time, National and Tate Gallery were separated. Later reorganisations brought all for Van Goghs of the Courtauld Gift to Trafalgar Square. --R.P.D. 15:03, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
So perhaps the text in the artcile should read: "... masterpieces already held by the Museum of Modern Art New York (established in 1929), the National Gallery, London, and other British and American galleries." and we could possibly put in a footnote the details of the "Modern Foreign Collection" ?? What do you thikn? I believe the "C Frank Stoop beqeust" in 1933 added the paintings Thatched Roofs, The Oise at Auvers and Farms near Auvers. Stumps 15:34, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
There could be a footnote to explain about the Modern Foregin Collection splitting off into an independent Tate Gallery. Tyrenius 15:45, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Stoop Bequest is okay, but "Thatched Roofs" is a pen drwaing, "The Oise at Auvers" went as a watercolour, until recent investigation showed that it is in fact diluted oil on paper; "Farms near Auvers" is the only real painting (oil on canvas)
Wouldn't it be wise to have the complete information on the Tate Collection separately in an own entry "Tate" (Tate Britain, Tate Modern)? --R.P.D. 16:40, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Lead section

The following was cut from the lead section, and it's here in case any of it needs to be used. Tyrenius 00:32, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

He was afflicted with increasingly recurrent periods of mental ill health, spending time in a psychiatric hospital. His state of mind was not helped by overwork (especially as he did much of it outside in the hot sun), bad dietary habits, and dependence on tobacco, coffee, and alcohol. There are many competing theories regarding his medical condition including bipolar disorder and temporal lobe epilepsy, possibly exacerbated by poisoning from excessive drinking of absinthe. His career was cut short too early for him to reap success during his lifetime; A major show of 71 paintings was held in Paris eleven years after his death.
These letters provide much insight into the life of the painter, and show him to be a talented writer with a keen mind. Theo is reported to have remarked that one day his brother would be to art what Beethoven was to music.[1]
  • Hello Tyrenius! I also cut this from the lead section: Dafoeberezin3494 03:42, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
In Dutch, the name Gogh is pronounced [xɔx] or [ɣɔx], the latter especially in North Brabant, where he was born; however common pronunciations used in English include [gɒf], [gɒx], and [goʊ]. During his stay in England his name was sometimes mistakenly spelt 'van Gof'.[2] Writers sometimes refer to him as "Vincent", with some justification, as he made that his signature.


Removed from the main page:

It makes little sense to place one or more contemporary novels on Van Gogh or using Van Gogh's paintings here. But I think a separate page on Van Gogh as a figure in literature should be welcome. --R.P.D. 14:55, 30 July 2006 (UTC) By the way, now in the section "See also" there is only the link to Van Gogh chronology, which is already supplied in the heading. Clean up?--R.P.D. 15:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

    • Thank you! I removed the "see also" section Dafoeberezin3494 16:04, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't there be a "See also" section for completeness of the format? There must be useful things to go there, even if they haven't been thought of as yet? Tyrenius 21:58, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Links to Van Gogh's letters

I recommend to link notes to here, no longer to the pdf-files there --R.P.D. 18:30, 30 July 2006 (UTC)


Who is the Arnold quoted in the notes: Matthias Arnold, who wrote two lengthy books on Van Gogh (1993 & 1995), or Wilfried Niels Arnold "VVG - Chemicals, crisis, and creativity" (1992)? --R.P.D. 19:29, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Paris reworked

Remaining material, removed - with some notes:

  • Later he and Bernard exchanged paintings to commemorate this occasion. This exchange happened in Winter 1887/1888. I see no source for a "commemoration"
  • Theo introduced Vincent to the circle ... Pierre-Auguste Renoir ... and son Lucien Pissarro (with both of whom he became friends), Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. Van Gogh liked Impressionism's use of light and color, more than its lack of social engagement (as he saw it). little more than common place, and without source
  • (He wrote in a letter: "I want to use colours that complement each other, that cause each other to shine brilliantly, that complete each other like a man and a woman.") - This is part of a letter of automn 1888, and the topics discussed hav nothing to do with the Paris period.

The chapter still needs attention --R.P.D. 16:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Notes & references

Many notes pointing to a specific publication, refer indeed to a letter by Van Gogh quoted there. I would prefer to have these links looking to the letter, and I think reference to a certain publication should be to a specific argument of an author. - I'll alter these links, if there is consense. --R.P.D. 19:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Possible featured article?

Does anybody think this article is ready to be a featured article? There are a few things that need to be cleaned up, but overall it looks similar to the Dutch Wikipedia article which is a featured article. 18:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I think it is very close, but some work still needs to be done. There are some suggestions on Peer review (use th link ate the top). I think this article needs to talk about his style (Kunstvorm in Dutch) and maybe work the section "Influences on Van Gogh" into there. But it's close. Dafoeberezin3494 21:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


I've removed the category "Dutch Vegetarians", as the footnote says, "he would not eat meat, only a little". Someone who eats a little meat is not a vegetarian - they're people who don't eat any meat.

Query over the category "Dutch Flower Painters". I presume this cat was really intended for the Old Master Flower painters. Obviously VG did paint flowers, but he's not primarily known for them alone. It seems a bit of an anomaly, as he's not in cats for portraiture or landscape, for which he is equally well known. However, I am not a category expert, so I only raise these points. Tyrenius 22:07, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for deleting "Dutch vegetarians". My commentary is already somewhere further up on this page.
As to the "Dutch Flower Painters", I think it is necessary to keep the cats "painters by subject/Dutch/flowers", for there are lots of people thinking in these cats, and there are encyclopedias to support them, too. It's not my cup of tea, but others evidently cannot live without these iconographical type of cats. --R.P.D. 22:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I wonder if there are some cats we are missing in that case? Tyrenius 22:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Difficult to say, but "self-taught artist" would make sense, and a category pointing to autobiographical writings, too. --R.P.D. 12:14, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Posthumous fame

This is quite a large section, and is not about Van Gogh himself, but about his subseqent effect. As this article is meant to be a biography of the artist, I suggest we move this to a new article Posthumous fame of Vincent van Gogh as well as the Legacy section, and just leave a summary in the biog. Tyrenius 17:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Probably you are absolutely right, but there are still other points which give me to think. Give me some minutes to think about it. --R.P.D. 20:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
No hurry. Tyrenius 06:03, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Influences on Van Gogh

There was criticism of this section, which to my mind is incomplete anyway and not focused enough. Some of the influences are on his ideas, some on his painting technique, but they're all lumped in together, which isn't very helpful. One of his big influences on style was English woodblock prints (e.g. Thomas Bewick?). The cut of the knife in the wood left a mark very similar to his brush strokes. (No I don't have a reference off-hand, I'm afraid).

I have cut the content and pasted it below, so anything of worth can be woven into the text as suggested. It merits an article on its own of course. Tyrenius 22:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Checklist - things to do

  • Use of Vincent + Van Gogh. Check difference usages read well in context and general flow and sense.
  • Sentences beginning with year e.g. "In 1890". Either all should have comma "In 1890," or none.
  • Wikilink of year without day and month. Year on its own e.g. 1890 should only be wikilinked if there is a particular need to do this.
  • Any missing categories, e.g. landscape painter/portrait painter/letter writer.
  • Punctuation style. Use ", as ' doesn't show up in internal searches. Quotes within speech can use ' or ". I suggest in that case we use ', i.e. He said,"You shouted 'help' yesterday."

Posthumous Fame to be adapted to Legacy

Posthumous Fame

During his life time, Van Gogh contributed works of his own only on a few and minor occasions which mainly passed unnoted by critics and public, for example a display of Japanese woodcuts in the Restaurant "Le Tambourin", for which Van Gogh probably interpreted three famous prints by Eisen and Hiroshige. Towards the end of this year, he organized another exhibition at the "Restaurant du Chalet" on Montmartre to which his friends Emile Bernard, Louis Anquetin and perhaps Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec contributed. Van Gogh considered the first one a disaster, while he was prepared to take the second one as a success: Bernard and Anquetin sold paintings, and he himself had exchanged works with Paul Gauguin. [60]

In 1888, Van Gogh joined the "Société des Artistes Indépendants", so three of his paintings were on show in their annual Salon in Paris, and two in the year following (due to restrictions caused by the Exposition Universelle de 1889). In 1890 and 1891, their annual exhibitions comprised ten paintings by Vincent; part of them had been shown before by the society "Les XX" in Brussels, in 1891 completed by a dozen of drawings (some of them only on view "by demand"). According to several letters from his brother Theo, his contributions to these few exhibitions established his renown amongst French vanguard painters like Monet and Signac. [bearbeiten]

Early promoters

The first article on Van Gogh's work was written by Theo's friend, the painter Joseph Jacob Isaacson; it appeared in the 17 August 1889 issue of the Amsterdam weekly De Portefeuille.

Albert Aurier was an important early promotor of Van Gogh's work. His article 'Les Isolés' appeared in the Mercure de France, January 1890. Another voice was that of Octave Mirbeau who's article 'Vincent van Gogh' in L'Echo de Paris on 1 March 1891. Later that year Van Gogh's friend Émile Bernard contributed short pieces on Van Gogh for La Plume and Les Hommes d’aujourd’hui.

Julius Meier-Graefe wrote influentially of Van Gogh, his publications incuding: Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst (Stuttgart, 1904 and later Munich 1927), Über Vincent van Gogh', Sozialistische Monatshefte (February 1906), Vincent van Gogh (Munich 1912) and Van Gogh der Zeichner (Berlin, 1928, published by Otto Wacker).

In the English-speaking world, the Bloomsbury art critics Roger Fry and Clive Bell were his first champions. Fry, in a 1924 essay, "Vincent Van Gogh," reported that after Van Gogh's death, he "disappeared" and "scarcely any picture dealer in Bond Street gave him another thought" until the 1910 show titled "Post Impressionist Exhibition" in which "his works dazzled, astonished and infuriated all cultured England." Fry's essay canonized Van Gogh as "a saint" of art, "the victim of the terrible intensity of his convictions—his conviction that somewhere one might lay hold of spiritual values compared with which all other values were of no account." His works gave "an expression in paint for the desperate violence of his spiritual hunger...."[61]. That set the agenda for many subsequent Van Gogh studies, which are predominantly biographical to this day. Van Gogh fits modern culture's attempt to find secular substitutes for a religion it no longer believed in, as M.H. Abrams describes in "Natural Supernaturalism" (1970). [bearbeiten]

Early exhibitions

There were retrospectives in Brussels and Paris in 1891. During the 1890s, Van Gogh exhibitions were staged in several Dutch and Belgian towns. In 1893, Julien Leclercq brought together a first exhibition featuring Van Gogh, Gauguin and other "modernists" touring Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Berlin. In 1895 and in 1896 Ambroise Vollard mounted Van Gogh retrospectives in his galleries Rue Lafitte; other minor dealers in Paris had works by Van Gogh continuously on display. In 1901, Leclercq arranged a Van Gogh Exhibition at the Galeries Bernheim Jeune in Paris .

In 1901, the Berlin Secessionists entered the scene, accompanied by the art dealers Bruno Cassirer and especially his cousin Paul, who set the pace for the years to come. Paul Cassirer first established a market for Van Gogh, and then, with the assistance of Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, controlled market prices for him. However, Johanna was keen to maintain her independence, and contributed important loans to Roger Fry's 1910 London exhibition, as well as to the Sonderbund exhibition of 1912 in Cologne. This was organized by an independent committee of artists, collectors and museum profesionals, but in fact dependent on loans arranged by Cassirer, Bernheim Jeune and other art dealers.

The first major exhibition from the artist's estate was shown in 1892 in the Amsterdam 'Panorama' Building, the next in 1905 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, followed in 1914 by a display concentrating on Van Gogh's drawings. [bearbeiten]

Early private and public collectors

Van Gogh's friends, his colleagues and promotors were at the same time his first collectors. Gauguin, Bernard, Lautrec, Schuffenecker, Degas as well as Aurier, Mirbeau, Leclercq and Van Eeden - each of them held works by Vincent.

In 1903, the first works of Vincent entered museum collections in Vienna and Rotterdam, as well as Folkwang Museum, then privately run by Karl-Ernst Osthaus in Hagen (later transfered to Essen). [bearbeiten]


In the "Winter Season 1927/1928" a problem began that has overshadowed Van Gogh-research ever since — the emergence of forgeries. Otto Wacker staged an extensive exhibition of drawings by Van Gogh, catalogued and annotated by Julius Meier-Graefe. Then in January 1928, Paul Cassirer opened a large retrospective of paintings, from which two were removed just before the opening, as their authenticity had been questioned. The suspect paintings had been provided by Otto Wacker, and a scandal ensued.

Little attention was paid at this time to the considerable number of Van Gogh masterpieces already held by the Museum of Modern Art New York (established in 1929), along with the Tate Gallery in London and other British and American galleries.

There has been a reaction against the depiction of Van Gogh as a saint. John Rewald was one of the first to attempt an anti-hagiography; books pointing to Van Gogh's neuroticism have continued since. Counter-claims, particularly based on Van Gogh's three volumes of letters, support Roger Fry's praise.[62]

A rest of "Myths" to be placed elsewhere or not

Van Gogh also worked for commissions and traded paintings for meals and medical treatment[3], both of which can be seen as another form of payment.[4]

thirteen sunflowers

The paintings called "vase with twelve sunflowers" as well as "wase with fourteen sunflowers" are incorrect. Although Vincent mentions the numbres 12 and 14, he does not use thes numbers to name his paintings. He added a flower in each vase, or wasn't as good in counting as he is was in painting. The paintings show respectively 13 and 15 sunflowers.

removal of MoMA links

I'm wondering why the MoMA links are being removed from this page. The Museum of Modern Art is a non-profit educational institution and we are trying to provide more information to wikipedia users by supplying links to works that are featured in our online collection. They are not commercial links and as far as I can ascertain, they are an appropriate addition to the page. Jmaldonado 04:01, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the Wikipedia:External links guideline, I think these links meet criterion #1 in the "Links normally to be avoided" section, namely, "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article here would have once it becomes a Wikipedia:Featured article." Images of the paintings by artists that have died long enough ago can be uploaded to Wikipedia, so if the article should have these images, there is no impediment. However I question whether these images are really useful at all in the article. There is already a link to a fairly comprehensive site on Van Gogh's paintings. Furthermore, there is already an article devoted to The Starry Night — which is far more educational than the MoMA page. The fact that you say "we are trying to provide ..." indicates that your addition of the links also fails under criterion #3, namely "A website that you own or maintain, even if the guidelines above imply that it should be linked to." The cynical might suspect MoMA of trying to get its website higher in Google search results, my getting links from Wikipedia and all Wikipedia's mirror sites. I trust this clarifies the policy issues relating to your links. Stumps 07:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


The first paragraph of the article has too much POV. For example, it say, "His popularity is widely due to the connotation of the lone, tortured, mad, bohemian artist—indeed, Vincent had several relationships, but did not marry and had no children." That is simply stupid. van Gogh is popular because his art work is superlative. The rest of that paragraph is similar tripe--it is full of POV assertions. Never been to spain 20:53, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Talking about an artist of the 19th century in the 21th, is necessarily a case of "point of vue", especially if it's the case of a much disputed artist like Van Gogh. Do you really think your corrections, deletions and simplifications have improved the lead section? --RPD 00:33, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
The sentence quoted above didn't make much sense -- not having children makes you mad and bohemian? I do think that his reputation for madness should be mentioned in the lead, since it is a well-known part of his legend, but there's no need to offer the opinion that "his popularity is widely due to" that legend. —Celithemis 01:02, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Agreed ... that sentence (about being popular BECAUSE of the bohemian artist myth, and the tenuous connection with the clause about having no children) is best removed ... however I do not understand where the POV lies is the rest of the material that was removed without discussion from the lead section. I have restored most of this, but am happy to look at the statements on a case by case basis. Stumps 06:36, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Vincent and Meniere's Disease

I am an artist too. I have Meniere's disease with severe cluster migraines. Many physicians believe that Vincent suffered with the same. I agree. When I look at his paintings, I pick up on similarities of that of my own. I get vertigo attacks which are different than [simply] being dizzy. I lose my center of gravity! Most people can not even imagine that. I believe that by looking at vincent's paintings you see what he tries to portray in this, when he is [able]. (the strokes of his brush in a moving motion. In the deepest throws of this disease, you must lye completely still, sometimes for a week or two at a time. You can not walk, you can not do anything at all! My meniere's is also associated with cluster migraines. Brought on by many things but mostly brightly glaring lights, refections, you name it, even the television. Being an artist, this poses a problem. I, although want to paint what I really see, I can't. It is just too painful. So I often have to limit myself to painting within certain lights, candle lights are best, they cast a yellow glow. I love a bright sunny day when I can handle it. They are few and far between so I usually paint in dim lights for the most part. I believe the main reason for Vincent's use of yellow is that is what he saw due to his limitations. I admire him greatly and he gives me hope and inspiration as an artist when I am down. Peace & Love. Marcia Connell

Cultural depictions of Vincent van Gogh

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. I see the editors for this page have a somewhat related section that mixes posthumous critical acclaim with with cultural references. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion (as cruft), I'd like to suggest my approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 15:14, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm in favour of keeping the 'usual' popular culture / trivia sections out of main articles. The suggested approach seems like a good idea. Stumps 15:24, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Cultural depictions of Van Gogh have been intermixed with exhibitions and posthumous criticism. Would anyone object if I culled depictions of him (other than self-portraits) and created a new list page? Durova 18:26, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

A brilliant idea, I think. But contemporary portraits of Van Gogh (by Lautrec, Russell, as well as photographs) should stay on this page, as they are probably closer to reality than his self-portraits. --RPD 18:56, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Those might be appropriate on both pages. Durova 03:00, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, and well-done,Stumps, for creating this cultural-use page! I'll add some comments there. --RPD 19:57, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Digitalis or digoxin?

Recently an anon changed Gachet's possible treatment using digitalis to refer to digoxin. I haven't had a chance to check this yet, but I'm guessing that digoxin wasn't isolated until the 20th century, and I'm not at all sure that it is found in all varieties of digitalis. I have - for the time being - revert to digitalis, but if anyone has a citable source, by all means revert my revert! Stumps 12:38, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

It wasn't isolated until 1930, and the active ingredient in the "digitalis" prescribed in Van Gogh's time would apparently have been digitoxin rather than digoxin: [6] —Celithemis 01:31, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Link fixed. --RPD 01:03, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Careful Consideration of Sentence Structure

I found these two lines to be disturbingly long, awkward or non-sensical. Both appear in his "Early Life" section:

  • "In 1860 he attended the Zundert village school, where 200 pupils had one teacher, a Catholic."
  • "Vincent Willem van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, a village close to Breda in the Province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands, the son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh, a minister of the Dutch reformed church." 01:35, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing these out ... I have made a first attempt at redrafting these two sentences. Stumps 09:31, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


but since weeks (or months: I am not willing to check the exact dates) there is little more activity on this page considered important (!) than reverts of vandalism and peacemeal. There would be more important things to fix, unfortunately my English is to poor to improve those passages. Otherwise I would have tried to clean up. --RPD 01:31, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


Ok, to start with, I want to disuss the second paragraph in the intro, because it doesn't sound very encyclopedic at all, "That he cut off part of his left ear is very well known, as is the belief that he was driven to an early suicide by lack of recognition of his genius. Here reality and myth are intertwined, and although he certainly suffered from recurrent bouts of mental illness, his suicide was preceded by growing praise for his work from radical critics and fellow avant-garde artists— something which paradoxically caused the painter considerable anguish."

This sounds more like an introduction to a history channel special, where drama and high minded language are helpful, than the beginning of an encyclopedia article. "very well known" is highly ambiguous, I doubt that it is in fact very well known in places of the world which don't care much about western artistry, and I was not in fact well aware of this ambiguous cause for suicide, "lack of recognition of his genious" (from whom? What constituted recognition back in his lifetime?) "Here reality and myth are intertwined" is certainly not encyclopedic at all, we certainly aren't supposed to be writing about myths concerning van Gogh in the introduction itself unless their extremely notable, (And really, does the ear thing help the reader understand Van Gogh that much?) and we're supposed to be going for verifiability first here, which this whole paragraph is sorely lacking in. "Growing praise" is ambiguous, so is "radical critics" which sounds like critics from extremist groups like the KKK to me, and "fellow avant-garde artists" is just obviously not NPOV, the high minded level of language seems clearly intended to give the reader the impression that we're just writing down whatever the history channel tells us. Why is this paragraph here? Did the person who reviwed this article for GA status even notice it? Homestarmy 18:11, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I removed the second paragraph as the lead was too long to comply with WP:LEAD. The bot also gave these suggestions:

  • If this article is about a person, please add {{persondata}} along with the required parameters to the article - see Wikipedia:Persondata for more information.
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (numbers), there should be a non-breaking space -   between a number and the unit of measurement. For example, instead of 20 miles, use 20 miles, which when you are editing the page, should look like: 20 miles.
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  • Per Wikipedia:Context and Wikipedia:Build the web, years with full dates should be linked; for example, link January 15, 2006, but do not link January 2006.
  • Please reorder/rename the last few sections to follow guidelines at Wikipedia:Guide to layout.
  • This article may need to undergo summary style, where a series of appropriate subpages are used. For example, if the article is United States, than an appropriate subpage would be History of the United States, such that a summary of the subpage exists on the mother article, while the subpage goes into more detail.
  • There are a few occurrences of weasel words in this article- please observe WP:AWT. Certain phrases should specify exactly who supports, considers, believes, etc., such a view.
    • it has been
    • might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment).
  • Watch for redundancies that make the article too wordy instead of being crisp and concise. (You may wish to try Tony1's redundancy exercises.)
    • Vague terms of size often are unnecessary and redundant - “some”, “a variety/number/majority of”, “several”, “a few”, “many”, “any”, and “all”. For example, “All pigs are pink, so we thought of a number of ways to turn them green.”
  • As done in WP:FOOTNOTE, footnotes usually are located right after a punctuation mark (as recommended by the CMS, but not mandatory), such that there is no space inbetween. For example, the sun is larger than the moon [2]. is usually written as the sun is larger than the moon.[2]
  • Please ensure that the article has gone through a thorough copyediting so that it exemplifies some of Wikipedia's best work. See also User:Tony1/How to satisfy Criterion 1a.

Hopefully this will give us some idea how we can improve the article. Tarret 18:32, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Some of the weasel wording seems concentrated in the medical section, namely this paragraph: "Some of the theories which have been suggested include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, syphilis, poisoning from swallowed paints, temporal lobe epilepsy and acute intermittent porphyria. Any of these could have been the culprit and been aggravated by malnutrition, overwork, a fondness for the alcoholic beverage absinthe, and insomnia. Some people have argued, in the case of temporal lobe epilepsy, that the disease may have led to his prolific body of work. (TLE cases tend to show symptoms of hypergraphia and hyperreligiosity and it has been suspected by some as being sources of religious visions and creativity.)"
There's so much of "some people" this and "it has been said by some" that which makes me question whether the entire thing is even worth including until some actual parties are named, while it sounds like the conclusions of the paragraph are probably verifiable, it will probably need to be changed quite a deal based on whatever references come up. Homestarmy 19:47, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Details and sources are provided in the main article, Vincent van Gogh's medical condition. This is a popular and controversial aspect of Van Gogh studies, with many contending hypotheses. Stumps 09:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I have tightened up the medical section, and de-weaseled it to some extent. Unfortunately there is still a lot of work to do on Vincent van Gogh's medical condition in terms of giving proper representation to the many competing theories. Until this is done it is fairly difficult to give a well-balanced and encyclopedic summary here. Stumps 14:52, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know there was a main article, that changes things a bit heh. Homestarmy 14:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Paragraphs removed from lead

The following text was removed from the lead. I paste it here as there is possibly some useful information we should restore to a shorter lead:

Regarding compliance with WP:LEAD there is also of course the matter of "a concise intro that works as a stand-alone article" At this stage we seem to have removed some important information and left some possibly less than vital information in the lead.

What is the length restriction in WP:LEAD??? This article is about 41,000 characters. All I can find is "As a general guideline, the lead should be no longer than three to four paragraphs." Stumps 09:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I have restored selected bits of the removed material, removed other less important material from the lead, and deleted some repeated information. I believe that the current 4 paragraphs fit within WP:LEAD guidelines, given the length of the article. Stumps 14:37, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

On Collaboration, Removals &c.

Okay, I am only a scholar who spend some decades of thinking and publishing about Van Gogh. From this point of view I can say: This article does not even touch peripherical aspects of recent Van Gogh research. Therefore, a discussion of Wikipedia-quisquilia is all but helpful for the content of this page.

I'd even do a further step: Van Gogh is dead since a while. Today, nobody knows much about his aims, his means. All that everybody thinks to know is - in the end - never more than a (more or less) reasonal reconstruction of his live and work. - But the preliminaries of Wikipedia are to spread knowledge. What is to do, if you only can opt for more or less plausible interpretations of pictorial and literary sources? RPD 23:16, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback. Could you provide some examples of peripherical aspects of recent Van Gogh research which are not touched on in the article? Perhaps we can try to address some of them. Kaldari 07:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, it's only the other way around that this machine will work: Present state of information on this page derives mainly from the 1960s/1970s. Strategies of research and interpretation have changed since then considerably. Today, a calculation based on "if", is no longer considered apriori irrelevant. By the way, "if" is a calculus accepted in sciences since some time, and also in humanities. Is there a serious reason not to incorporate "if" in Wikipedia? - Forgot to sign, sorry: --RPD 22:58, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Falling Autumn Leaves?

I don't think this is one of his most famous works. What about remove it and maybe put "Wheat Field with Crows", "Vase with Twelve Sunflowers" or "Cafe Terrace at Night", or even all of them? ( 00:33, 19 December 2006 (UTC)) Golden Slumbers

I decided to do a history project on Van Gogh and learned way alot about him. I can't believe he only sold one painting. I'm only 12 and I sold 4 of my paintings. They were for a charity. He is very interseting. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Indeed. If he hadn't killed himself, he would have sold a lot more later in his life. Check out how old he was when he died. Tyrenius 20:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Depth Technique

A fairly importent thing to understand is Van Gogh depth of field method. He used specially placed objects to cause depth of field.

All the special odditees are for depth! His perspectives are specially studied.

And the means are copied.

--Eaglesondouglas 03:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you could find some verifiable references for this. Tyrenius 05:33, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Exhibitions of his Work

How are major exhibitions of his work being treated? I mean ones which are notable events in the art world. Should these be a separate page and then linked to the main page? I'm not an expert on these but it does appear that the article as a whole underplays Van Gogh's Drawings - and he's not had an authoritative tome written about him called "The Master Draightsman" for nothing. This was produced in the same year (2005) as the major exhibition of his drawings at the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York and the Van Gogh Museum. The former had a quantifiable impact on the economy of New York. Cosmopolitancats 00:22, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Maybe Posthumous fame of Vincent van Gogh is a good place for this sort of thing? Stumps 21:37, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

To Do: Van Gogh's Drawings

What I find VERY disappointing about this article is that it arranges everything in chronological order and loses any summary discussion of his work ie the reason why this individual is notable. While chronology is interesting it serves to fragment key statements about his art - in terms of drawings, paintings and key influences. I'm not very familiar with the templates for biographies - but I would have thought that a biographical entry which gives for example more prominence to his medical history/records than his drawings had rather lost sight of why this individual is notable. I would have thought the main page ought to focus on why he is notable (there is enough authoritative sources to make significant verifiable entries) and that the chronology should be a sub-page - but as I said, I'm not very familiar with the biography way of doing things.

Anyway, the reason for this new heading is that I can't find any significant summary about his drawings - and yet there is a lot of information about them. I could have a go at drafting one but it rather depends on the rationale behind the organisation of information about Van Gogh.

Are people wedded to the current organisation of information? Might there be a better way of summarising Van Gogh and his work? Cosmopolitancats 00:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the chronological biography is essential and something most people would find useful and desirable. Why don't you start a new article just on his drawings? This would be necessary to do justice to them anyway. This is what has been done with various other aspects of his life, as you can see from the links in the template at the bottom of the article. Tyrenius 03:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Ready to be a FAC

Not made any major contribution. Just after reading this article I'd say it's really. Buc 17:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Would you like to put it forward then? Tyrenius 21:47, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


I added my remarks about 1950s abstract "impressionism" in the legacy section in response to this critique that another editor suggested. - "Legacy" needs prose improvement. All these short, stubby paragraphs make it look listy and seamless. I was intending to add asked for improvements. - Modernist 10:58, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Starry Night Replacement

suggest use the "balanced" version of starry night (the one as today's wiki featured image) instead

Indecipherable sentence

This sentence has far too many commas (I count eight) and wanders into seeming nonsense halfway through.

When, at the opening dinner, Henry de Groux, a member of Les XX, insulted Van Gogh's works, Toulouse-Lautrec demanded satisfaction, and Signac declared, he would continue to fight for Van Gogh's honour, if Lautrec should be surrendered.

What does it mean that Lautrec "demanded satisfaction"? And "should be surrendered"? --Atomizer13 20:10, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

It refers to a proposed duel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The European Library

Maybe you like to insert this: * "van+gogh") 62 digitized objects related to van Gogh in The European Library —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:08, 23 July 2007.

Wilkie references

In the footnotes, there are entries of the form "Wilkie, page so-and-so". However, there are three books by Wilkie listed in the References section (published in 1978, 1990 and 1991). Which one is being referred to?

It would seem to be Wilkie, Ken. The Van Gogh Assignment, Paddington Press, 1978. Probably User:R.P.D. is the person to ask, but he's not editing much nowadays. Tyrenius 23:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Head of a man

This has been moved from the article, as it needs a reference.

In 2007, the painting "Head of a Man", attributed to Van Gogh for over 70 years, was reported to have probably been painted by one of his peers. A team of specialists from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam determined that the style was inconsistant with Van Gogh's other works and there was no mention of the painting in any of Van Gogh's known letters. There is no evidence to suggest that the painting was intentionally passed as a Van Gogh.

Tyrenius 23:18, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Restored to article, with cite, but I'm not certain where best to place it, or if it merits mention here--seems to fall somewhere between trivia and late-breaking news. JNW 03:32, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I have moved it to Posthumous_fame_of_Vincent_van_Gogh#Forgeries_and_reattribution. Tyrenius 10:20, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Good call. Thank you. JNW 12:55, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

See also, AGF

I think the see also section is low value, and should be removed. See also "History of painting"? Also, to be fair, Parker Gabriel is a new user and I doubt that, given the time he spent copy editing the article today, that his corrpution of the "Vincent van Gogh's medical condition" link was likely to have been an act of vandalism, as characterised. WP:AGF? I was behind this; a lot of notable scholars wrote substantial tracts about van Gogh, and a lot of notable painters were influenced by him; do we really need to mention a Don McLean song. Its trivial. Ceoil 02:02, 6 August 2007 (UTC)


I think all of Parker Gabriel's edits should be reversed. As to the link and other minor mistakes I agree probably mistakes, not vandalism. He capitalizes in strange places, inserts his own point of view in places. Yes, Don Mclean can go and see also as well I suppose. I've always avoided this article because there are so many opinions about him, and a lot of very serious editors have worked hard to bring it to this point. I don't see improvement as to where this article was on August fourth. Modernist 02:43, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Agree with you. The article suffers from a lot of drive by, but we should not bite, even if the clean up is a pain. Ceoil 03:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, - Modernist 04:00, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
If any edits are not up to scratch, they need to be removed/amended/reverted, and, if necessary, some helpful advice given to the relevant editor. This article has had some top grade work done on it, and should not be compromised by anything less. Tyrenius 16:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I've pretty much reversed all of Parker Gabriels edits. Modernist 17:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I find this was too hasty. You reversed more than Parker. Ceoil 19:06, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry if some of your edits were also reversed. This was not the intention, but a byproduct of reverting a lot of less desirable changes, which should ideally have been done immediately, before other edits were made. The rv was done per User_talk:Modernist#VVG. Maybe you have another proposal to deal with the problem? Tyrenius 19:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The general restoration of the last day has been noticed by at least one editor, who greatly appreciates all of your efforts. JNW 21:49, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with JNW, the revert was sound imo, having looked back in detail on the other additions. My edits were light, and I hadn´t seen the discussion on Modernist´s talk. So no worries there. Ceoil 22:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Ceoil and JNW, I'm glad the page has been restored. Modernist 14:19, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Let's be rigorous about this in future. Tyrenius 19:32, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


I've only been watching this article for a few weeks, but the amount of hard work and effort that has been put in by a large number of skilled and knowledgeable editors over the years is very obvious; the article is great, easily "one of our best", and a credit to all involved. I think its within a hair's breath of FA standard. IMO, it needs just a little MOS tidying up, and I think ye should renominate. Its a core article, it should be FA. Thoughts? Ceoil 17:02, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I have a feeling that to pass FA it would need quite a lot of attention still. R.P.D. and Stumps did most of the in-depth work and aren't editing much now. Maybe they could be tempted back. You're welcome to nom it! At least it would show where any faults are. Tyrenius 18:39, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe if we put together a list of outstanding issues, and over time work through them. There are four or five strong editors actively working here that I can see, I think ye should go for it. For my part, I have quite a few books on van Gogh, and can cite and can look after any ce issues. Ceoil 19:51, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Position of pronunciation info

Although I'm sure that the pronunciation is a very important topic to some, it is in my opinion not the most important topic of this article and does not merit inclusion in the very first sentence of the article. To this end, I've moved it down a bit to its own paragraph, still in the introductory section. I hope noone objects to this simplification. The first paragraph should be devoted to an overview of the topic. In its previous state, it was instead even pretty inconvenient to read. Besides that, it is in my opinion not appropriate to state that the pronunciation commonly used in a country that speaks another language is "incorrect". In that case very many or even most foreign names are pronounced "incorrectly". It should be enough to note that the pronunciation in dutch is 'this' but in other countries the name is usually pronounced like 'this', 'that' or 'thus'. It is normal for languages to tackle foreign names or other words in their own manner and localize them to make them easily pronouncable. I don't think we should pass judgement on this and declare that everyone but the dutch (in this particular case) do it wrong. Everyone does it their way - we should report this neutrally. If your opinion differs, please tell us your arguments. --Bjost 23:44, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Haha, and my change was immediately reverted of course. :) How wonderfully symptomatic. Ok, sorry for changing something without discussing it first. So, can someone please tell me the arguments for not doing the change I suggested? --Bjost 23:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Please place your remarks at the bottom of this page. This article has been edited and revised by CONSENSUS and your ideas will be considered. Thank you - Modernist 00:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why the discussion shouldn't continue here, but you can move it to a new section yourself if you feel strongly about it. Could we focus on the substantive issues, please?
I quite agree with Bjost on both points. Even though it's customary to put pronunciation information in the first sentence, there is so much of it in this case that it's distracting. Labelling the Anglicized pronunciations erroneous is merely one point of view, and it's unnecessary: if we simply present the information, people can decide for themselves whether these pronunciations are acceptable or not. Celithemis 01:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I too prefer the revision.[7] However, it is best to discuss it here and get consensus, as it's been questioned. I'm not sure what WP:MOS has to say. Tyrenius 02:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your varying support. Again, sorry for doing a change without discussing it first. It just seemed quite minor and an obvious improvement to me. But of course, I am not consensus. So please feel free to discuss it. Are there actually any opposing opinions? I assume that Modernist is opposed as his reversion of my edit was commented "some things are best left alone". Bjost 10:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I am willing to refer to consensus. If Celithemis, Tyrenius and Bjost prefer the change I won't object. WP:MOS-P seems ambiguous as to placement. Modernist 11:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I think we can see this as a successful application of WP:BRD with all parties acting in a collegiate manner. It is of course permitted to be BOLD, but a recent need to do considerable reverting has left a certain sensitivity about changes to an article which has had a lot of high quality input to reach its current state. Tyrenius 11:59, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm beginning to understand the extent of this sensitivity. This is my first time editing an article as evolved as this one and editing without discussing first was a bit of an experiment on my part to see how the community would react. I only came across this article by chance and the first paragraph struck me as being needlessly convoluted, at which point my wiki-instinct to help kicked in. I have no special knowledge of the actual subject matter, only a sense of language I hope. Anyway my first notion was indeed to restrict myself to adding a suggestion to the previous discussion about pronunciation but it seemed to me that the edit should be unoffensive enough (very slightly changed content, simplification of disposition) that it would be hard to argue against it, so I instead did the edit and wrote a full explanation in here. Apparently that didn't matter. So, it all comes down to a matter of policy - do some articles fall under the category of "must discuss before editing"? If so, the follow up questions are first which articles this applies to and second if there is a limit to how minor an edit can be for it to be acceptable without discussion (correcting a spelling mistake surely should be). I gladly admit that I myself am ignorant of the long and arduous discussions about such policies that have surely occurred elsewhere on Wikipedia. The article on WP:BOLD was enlightening. In any case I see that Modernist undid his revert of my edit, so I'm happy with the actual outcome. As an added bonus I now know more about the workings of Wikipedia. Thank you. --Bjost 02:08, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I think your behavior was exemplary, and the response was an unfortunate example of biting the newbies. Twitchiness is understandable when an article is being heavily vandalized, but people who boldly edit articles are not doing anything wrong and should not be treated as if they have. Celithemis 02:57, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Nobody's done anything wrong. Anyone can edit anything, nd anyone can edit that edit, and so it goes on... Welcome on board Bjost. Tyrenius 07:18, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. :) At the risk of sounding repetitive, would this then be considered a good example of boldness? I would have expected someone to bring forth an argument against my edit... But nevermind, let's look forward. Bjost 21:04, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


I'm adding a gallery section, including several important works not already in the article, however if there are sufficient objections and no consensus it can be removed. Modernist 11:37, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

artists influenced by

Many artists were influenced by Vincent van Gogh, that doesn't mean they need to be included here. Modernist 11:14, 10 October 2007 (UTC)


I don't think it is accurate to pidgeonhole Van Gough as a post-impressionist. Certainly many of his paintings were, but some were almost typical impressionist, and his early works (before he went to France and met all the now famous impressionists) were neither (observe The Potato Eaters).- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 11:39, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Post-Impressionism is essentially defined as the work of Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh - (the proto expressionist who certainly was not an Impressionist) and Georges Seurat. Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh developed their original styles somewhat later than the Impressionists. The Potato Eaters an early work, painted long before - his Post Impressionist paintings seems to owe a debt to the Realists and Millet in particular. I highly recommend reading: John Rewald's History of Post-Impressionism: From van Gogh to Gauguin, 1956; revised edition: Secker & Warburg, London 1978 - Modernist 12:26, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Totally agree. This is bog standard art history. Tyrenius 16:53, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding me. I definitely agree he was a post-impressionist but he wasn't only a post-impressionist. I think it would almost be like referring to Picasso as a Cubist without also adding a qualifier (well... that is kind of an overstatement since Van Gogh is at least primarily known as a post-impressionist, but it still illustrates my point).- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 03:18, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I see your point and actually this article covers his entire life and his entire career as do several other related articles. However as I stated Van Gogh has come to be known as a Post-Impressionist. You probably know that Monet did cartoons and caricatures in his early days, but we still think of Monet as an Impressionist. Modernist 03:43, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
But with Monet I don't know of a single famous painting he did that was not impressionist, with Van Gogh there are several non-post-impressionist paintings that are considering masterpieces. I could be bias here since I like the Potato eaters far more than any of his stuff that came afterwards. Anyways, I don't have any problem is we refer to him as post-impressionist in the introduction or anywhere else, I would just prefer it if we also added a short qualifier.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 05:32, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
I also see your point Moshe but think of a Formula 1 driver who started w/ rally or kart racing (not to mean non-post-impressionist paintings are less valued). I still agree w/ you but as Modernist said, his entire life is being well covered in this and other related articles. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 06:21, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
P.S. A good idea is to use a footnote where you can explain your point in a line or two. -- FayssalF —Preceding unsigned comment added by FayssalF (talkcontribs) 06:24, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I never meant to imply that the article as a whole is misleading or anything, I understand that if someone read the entire thing they wouldn't get the wrong idea, they would understand Van Gogh's artistic range. I only took issue with the first sentence.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 07:11, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
It's the mainstream definition. To depart from that starts to veer into original research. Tyrenius 16:50, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
If I've been outvoted I won't continue to argue my point, but it certainly isn't OR as there would be many sources that agree with me, in fact I'm not even sure it could be referred to as non-mainstream.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 23:16, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
You have not been outvoted. At least we don't vote. You've still got a valid and reasonable point. At least i agree w/ you that it would not be considered as original research. Moreover, it doesn't violate WP:UNDUE. The latter policy states that "the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each." My idea (footnotes) was rather a compromise between your view and that of others while working w/in the frame of policies and guidelines. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 23:31, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

New Yorker piece

Interesting piece in the January 4 New Yorker [8] by Adam Gopnik, on the cutting-off of the ear as a turning point in modern art. JNW (talk) 20:28, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Good find, we should work it into the legacy section...Modernist (talk) 23:17, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
More ink has been spilled than blood: in the December 29 NYTimes there's a piece about van Gogh scholar Martin Bailey concluding that the artist cut his ear upon learning that Theo was getting married. One small self-mutilation, so many theories. JNW (talk) 01:17, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I guess that takes Gauguin and his rapier off the hook...Modernist (talk) 01:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you artsy guys going to do this, or are you going to leave it to the unschooled like me?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:30, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Vincent van Gogh/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Please see the peer review. Errabee 10:11, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 10:38, 20 February 2008 (UTC).

Substituted at 20:38, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Theo's comparison of Vincent and Beethoven was recounted by his son, another Vincent Willem van Gogh, in conversation with Ken Wilkie, see Wilkie, K. In Search of Van Gogh, 1991 (first published as The Van Gogh Assignment, 1978) page 16
  2. ^ Waldemar Januszczak: Vincent: The Full Story, (Producer: Mike Lerner); Part I.
  3. ^ he paid Dr Cavenaile for his treatment with a portrait; Wilkie, page 202
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference walther was invoked but never defined (see the help page).