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Who were the people in Van Gogh’s Life?

by VanGoghology

While the photograph above is controversial and believed not to be Vincent, certainly the people in Van Gogh’s life appear in this photograph taken in December 1887 by Jules Antoine, an architect and amateur photographer. 

Those appearing from left to right, Dutch artist and good friend of Vincent while in Paris, Arnold Koning. Émile Bernard, the questionable Van Gogh, Politician and painter Armand Félix Marie Jobbé-Duval, Jules’ brother André Antoine, who founded the Théâtre-Libre in Paris, and of course Paul Gauguin.

I personally believe that this IS Van Gogh and I explain why here… 

The life of Vincent van Gogh was intricately connected with a multitude of personalities who exerted substantial influence on both his artistic trajectory and personal encounters. His brother, Theo, was a highly influential character in his life. Theo served as both Vincent’s sibling and his most trusted confidant and advocate. His brother offered both emotional and financial assistance to Vincent over the course of his lifetime, thereby facilitating his pursuit of artistic pursuits. Their extensive correspondence, comprising of hundreds of letters, provides insight into their profound connection and Vincent’s artistic growth.

Paul Gauguin

Another important person in Van Gogh’s life was his friend and fellow artist, Paul Gauguin. The two artists met in Paris in 1887 while Gauguin was staying with Emile Shuffenecker at 29 rue Boulard. They soon developed a close friendship, sharing artistic ideas and techniques. Van Gogh greatly admired Gauguin’s work and saw him as a mentor. They even lived together for a brief period in Arles, where they hoped to establish an artists’ colony. However, their time together was marked by intense conflicts and disagreements, leading to a dramatic incident where Van Gogh famously cut off a part of his own ear. Despite the turbulent nature of their relationship, Gauguin’s influence on Van Gogh’s artistic style cannot be understated.

Van Gogh and Emile Bernard in Asnières near Paris.

Van Gogh and Emile Bernard in Asnières near Paris.

Van Gogh and Emile Bernard in Asnières near Paris.Émile Bernard, Camille Pissarro, Arnold Koning and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Additionally, Van Gogh’s life was enriched by the presence of several other individuals, including his sister Willemien, who shared his passion for art and provided emotional support during his struggles. His friend and fellow artist, Émile Bernard, also played a significant role in his life, as they exchanged ideas and collaborated on artistic projects. Furthermore, Van Gogh’s interactions with other artists, such as Camille Pissarro, Arnold Koning, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, contributed to his artistic growth and exposure to different artistic movements. The people in Van Gogh’s life were not only instrumental in his personal and artistic development but also left a lasting impact on the art world through their association with one of history’s most celebrated artists.

Anton Kerssemakers

Anton Kerssemakers

Anton Kerssemakers

The everyday people – from peasants to coal miners, and postal workers to doctors.

The everyday hard-working people in Van Gogh’s life encompassed a diverse range of professions and backgrounds. He often sought out the company of laborers, such as weavers, blacksmiths, and factory workers, who toiled tirelessly to make a living. Van Gogh was captivated by their dedication and the stories etched on their weathered faces, finding beauty in their everyday struggles.

These individuals, who played a significant role in shaping his perspective and artistic style, were the backbone of his artistic inspiration. From the coal miners to the farmers, Vincent found solace and inspiration in the lives of these hardworking people, who ultimately became their friends, and sometimes lovers.

Through his art, Van Gogh aimed to capture the essence of these working people, immortalizing their struggles and triumphs on canvas for the world to see.

From Gordina de Groot, one of the Potato Eaters, to Agostina Segatori who ran the Café du Tambourin, located on the Boulevard de Clichy in Paris. Everyday people like Joseph Roulin the postman, Anton Kerssemakers the wealthy tanner in Eindhoven, and Dr. Gachet who treated him while living in Auvers ~ they were all Vincents friends.

When Vincent passed away, among the attendees were prominent figures from the art world who had known van Gogh personally or had been influenced by his groundbreaking artistic style. Critics and art historians also paid their respects, recognizing the impact that van Gogh had on the art world during his lifetime and beyond. For those touched by van Gogh’s work and eager to honor his memory, the funeral was a poignant moment.

Obvious attendees include Theo, Andries Bonger, Charles Laval, Lucien Pissarro, Émile Bernard, Julien Tanguy and Dr. Gachet, and his son Paul, family members, friends and locals. Learn more about Vincent’s death here.

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