Peace through understanding and cooperation

8) Vincent Van Gogh - Madman or Genius 

It would seem that there has never been fascination in an artist to rival the Dutchman who simply signed his work 'Vincent'. We are all aware of the recent exhibitions and the remarkable prices realised for this humble artist's work. Most of us appreciate the beauty of his efforts but how much to we know about the man himself? This lecture considers exactly why, despite barely selling a painting and his sudden death in poverty, no art historian today denies his genius. There are extraordinary, little know facts to be revealed, while enjoying the remarkable range of his talent. Though seeming so extreme and exceptional, the tragic story of his loveless life is deeply moving and his humanity makes a lasting impression.

"There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.

Here they talked of revolution
Here it was they lit the flame
Here they sang about 'tomorrow'
And tomorrow never came"


(Victor Hugo's novel was well known to Vincent)

"Thank you very much indeed for the fascinating lecture..  You took us on an absorbing, fascinating journey as you spun his life and times into a palette of reality and colour and design, with its joy and tragedy.   It was  thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated and it was a great pleasure to have you back in Wellington.”

Jane Kirkaldie - Programme Sec. DFAS Wellington NZ