Friday, April 17, 2009


"What impassions me most- much, much more than all the rest of my métier – is the portrait, the modern portrait. I seek it in color, and surely I am not the only one to seek it in this direction. I should like – mind you, far be it from me to say that I shall be able to do it, although this is what I am aiming at – I should like to paint portraits which would appear after a century to the people living then as apparitions. By which I mean that I do not endeavor to achieve this by photographic resemblance, but by means of our compassioned expressions – that is to say, using our knowledge of and our modern taste for color as a means of arriving at the expression and the intensification of the character.

So the portrait of Dr. Gachet shows you a face the color an overheated brick, and scorched by the sun, with reddish hair and a white cap, surrounded by a rustic scenery with a background of blue hills; his clothes are ultramarine – this brings out the face and makes it paler, notwithstanding the fact that it is brick-colored. His hands, the hands of an obstetrician, are paler than the face. Before him, lying on a red garden table, are yellow novels and a foxglove flower of a somber purple hue. My self-portrait is done in nearly the same way; the blue is the blue color of the sky in the later afternoon, and the clothes are a bright lilac.”

- V.G.

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