Daily Archives: February 11, 2019
About the Book
Title: Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanity
Author: Giuseppe Cafiero
An abrasive itinerary of the presence of women, the landscape and obsession. Such are the internal paradigms that went through the compelling life of the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.
Not flesh and blood women, but the woman as a guide: Mrs. Jones, the woman as a mother; Kee Vos; Christine Hoornik of Siena; Margot Begemann. The Portrait-women such as Augustine Roulin and Madame Ginoux. And then the backgrounds, endless, unforgettable in this genius’s works: Isleworth, Amsterdam, le Borinage, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his life trying to capture the colors, the atmosphere, the light.
The pain of finitude and his obsession with achieving redemption through art, with intimate and stormy religiosity, with brotherly love, with the French noon sun and, in short, with death. A hard-working and unwavering life where art interacted, in a painful gesture, with the iron will of a hand that never lost its way.
The life of a beloved and devoted man, silenced by the anguish and despair of creation, who could only find peacefulness when he found his own death.
Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity is a fictionalized biography and gripping novel of the life of the Nineteenth-Century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The author, Giuseppe Cafiero, draws a psychological portrait of the Post-Impressionist painter through the women that marked his life and the cities in which he lived.
Demonised by Dad: Three Ways van Gogh’s Life was Influenced by his God-Fearing Father
Vincent van Gogh’s troubled relationship with his pastor father influenced the painter’s work and melancholic outlook, writes the acclaimed Italian author and historian, Giuseppe Cafiero.
By Giuseppe Cafiero
Vincent van Gogh’s pious father, Theodorus, had a profound effect on his art and relationships. Here are three ways that van Gogh’s God-fearing father, Theodorus van Gogh, a pastor at the Dutch Reformed Church in Holland, influenced his son’s life.
- A Pious Youth
Van Gogh was raised in a small village called Zundert in the Netherlands. Thanks to his father’s religious zeal, the painter’s early life was constrained by the Church. While his childhood in the poor, medieval village was said to be pleasant, van Gogh did in my view yearn for bigger, brighter and better things. He craved culture and the freedom to do what he wanted without societal, disciplinary and religious restrictions and his over-zealous father’s unrealistic expectations.
- His Stillborn Brother
It is widely believed that van Gogh knew that in his father’s eyes, he was a disappointment and failure. Theodorus expected much of him as the oldest son, but Vincent never quite measured up; he had failed to follow in his father’s clergyman footsteps and had instead pursued his dream of becoming a painter. It is my view that Vincent lived under a constant pressure of living up to his father’s expectations and of ‘replacing’ his father’s first-born son, also named Vincent, who died at birth one year to the day before Vincent’s own birth.
- Escaping God’s Wrath
In the years 1877 to 1880, van Gogh himself turned to religion. He became a fanatic and was obsessively devoted to the Bible and to its teachings. But his attempt at religious life was unsuccessful and sent the artist into a period of depression and spiritual crisis. This is reflected in his artwork at the time and also in the increasingly tense relationship with his father, who as above had always dreamed of Vincent following him into the Clergy.