Anniversary Vincent Van Gogh made this portrait of Eugène Boch on or about September 1, 1888. It could have been a fine birthday present for this fellow painter whom he had been introduced to only two months earlier. But it wasn’t. It was intended as a decoration for Vincent’s new home, the “Yellow House”. Van Gogh hung it in his bedroom.
“Ah well, thanks to him — at last I have a first sketch of that painting I’ve been dreaming about for a long time — the poet. He posed for it for me. His fine head, with its green gaze, stands out in my portrait against a starry, deep ultramarine sky; his clothing is a little yellow jacket, a collar of unbleached linen, a multicoloured tie.” (Letter 673, September 3, 1888).
In 1891, Theo Van Gogh’s widow gave the portrait to Boch, who was more than happy with the gift:
“I do not know how I can tell you, madam, how much I was touched by your present and how much pleasure it gives me: it is a beautiful work of art, but moreover a souvenir of Vincent, who I knew in Arles. I still remember the good moments which we had together there. Full of enthusiasm for art, for pure art ! This remains my most enduring thought about your brother-in-law.“ (Letter to Jo Van Gogh-Bonger, July 21, 1891)
Eugène Boch, a Belgian impressionist painter, was born on September 1, 1855. His older sister Anna was a founding member of ‘Les XX’, an important group of artists in its days.
Vincent Van Gogh, Eugène Boch or ‘The Poet’, September 1888. Oil on canvas, 60 x 45 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris
We are the Lost Girls Nature is our tribe We are the Wendy Darling’s of this world Free spirited in heart and mind We wear flowers as a badge across our chest tiger lilies to be exact We tell stories around the fire Sing the lullabies of the sirens Thimbles for kisses we trade From fairy stardust we are made We dance upon the beat of the clock Tick Tock, Tick tock Time doesn’t exist for us We sail the ships Through sparkling skies Watch us fly like Peter Pan In a magical place called earth, our Neverland
Man’s Informal Robe with the Thirty-six Poetic Immortals Period: Taishō period (1912–26) Date: early 20th century Culture: Japan Medium: Silk, stenciled and paste-resist dyed Dimensions: Overall: 50 3/8 x 49 5/8 in. (128 x 126 cm) Classification: Textiles-Costumes Credit Line: John C. Weber Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Representations of the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals harken back to a literary canon established by the courtier Fujiwara no Kintō (966–1041). When portrayed in the handscroll format, individual poets—in distinctive poses, and with recognizable attributes—are separated from one another by inscriptions of their poems. In contrast, Rinpa artists gathered these isolated, iconic luminaries into a single scene, a convention followed in this informal man’s robe. The visually complex composition was produced through a dyeing process that initially involved using a stencil through which a rice-paste resist was applied, creating thin white outlines around most figures. Colors were then added to accentuate the presence of five poets in particular—notably, one of five female poets, who occupies a prominent position at the upper center of the back of the garment. Her figure, however, is slightly obscured by the men that surround her.”
Artemis: I’d love to get a better look at the detail of this piece. I’d go to the Met to see it but it isn’t on view. :(