Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially my own Dad and my brother-in-law, Adam, "da-da" to my precious nephew Anthony.
In honor of Father's Day and Anthony's newfound walking accomplishments, here is Vincent's painting "First Steps," done in January 1890 while Vincent was staying in the asylum at Saint-Rémy and just before his own nephew was born. But it's not van Gogh's original composition: he created this painting based on a photograph of Jean-François Millet's earlier painting, "First Steps," which Theo had sent him back in October. Vincent was a great admirer of Millet's work, and not having models to work from in the hospital, creating paintings after prints was a way for him to still explore the human figure. He compared himself to a musician, adding his own interpretation to works 'composed' by artists before him. Because the prints he worked from were in black-and-white, his interpretations were all about the color. The original squared-off photograph of "First Steps" that belonged to Vincent is today in the Van Gogh Museum; the painting is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.