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After much careful research, it has been discovered that the artist Vincent Van Gogh had many relatives.

Among them were.

His dizzy aunt...

 Verti Gogh 

The brother who ate prunes...  Gotta Gogh 

The constipated uncle...

 Cant Gogh 

The brother who worked at a convenience store...

 Stop n Gogh 

The grandfather from Yugoslavia...

 U Gogh 

The cousin from Illinois...  Chica Gogh 

His magician uncle...

 Where diddy Gogh 

His Italian uncle...

 Day Gogh 

His Mexican cousin...

 Amee Gogh 

The Mexican cousin's American half brother...

 Grin Gogh 

The nephew who drove a stage coach...

 Wells far Gogh 

The ballroom dancing aunt...  Tan Gogh 

A sister who loved disco...

 Go Gogh 

The bird lover uncle...

 Flamin Gogh 

The fruit loving cousin...

 Man Gogh 

And his niece who travels

the country in a van...

 Winnie Bay Gogh 




Lust For Life



Baseball Jersey T-Shirt 100% cotton Contrasted neckline and 3/4 raglan sleeves Standard fit Machine wash cold, no bleach
Kirk Douglas Anthony Quin Vincent


Lust for Life (1956) is a  MGM  (Metrocolor) biographical film

about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based

on the 1934 novel of the same name by Irving Stone and

adapted by Norman Corwin.

It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by John

Houseman. The film stars  Kirk Douglas  as Van Gogh, James

Donald as his brother Theo, Pamela Brown, Everett Sloane

and Anthony Quinn, who won an Oscar for his performance as

Van Gogh's fast friend and rival Paul Gauguin.


 Vincent van Gogh's  obsessive devotion to his art engulfs,

consumes and finally destroys him. The apostate religious

leaders do not like his zeal for God and they frown on his social activism and care for the

poor in a coal mining town. He returns home to his father's house where he is rejected by a

woman he obsessively loves, takes up with a prostitute who leaves because he is too poor,

and discovers painting, which he pursues while agonizing that his vision exceeds his ability

to execute. His brother, Theo van Gogh, provides financial and moral support, while Vincent lives off and on with the critical Paul Gauguin. Vincent begins experiencing hallucinations and seizures and voluntarily commits himself to a mental institution. He signs himself out, and with Theo's help, returns to a rural area to paint, where he ultimately shoots himself in despair of never being able to put what he sees on canvas.


The film was based on the 1934 novel by  Irving Stone  and adapted by Norman Corwin. Vincent Minnelli directed the film, while John Houseman produced it. They worked with Douglas on the 1952 melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.


I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.  Vincent Van Gogh 

Lust For Life Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas Vincent Van Gogh
 The Starry Night Van Gogh
Van Gogh Self Portrait

Principal photography of Art Direction started in August and ended in December 1955 and it was shot on location in France, Belgium and the


 George Cukor  took Minnelli's place as director for the take of a scene. Two hundred enlarged colour photos were used representing Vincent’s completed canvases; these were in addition to copies that were executed by an American art teacher, Robert Parker. To prepare for his role as the troubled painter, Douglas practiced painting crows so that he could reasonably imitate van Gogh at work. According to his wife Anne,

Douglas was so into character that he returned home in character. 


New York Times critic  Bosley Crowther  praised the film's conception, acting and colour scheme, noting the design team "consciously made the flow of colour and the interplay of compositions and hues the most forceful devices for conveying a motion picture comprehension of van Gogh." Variety said, "This is a slow-moving picture whose only action is

in the dialog itself."


According to MGM records, the film earned

$1,595,000 in the US and Canada, and

$1,100,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of



MGM produced a short film  Van Gogh: Darkness 

 Into Light,  narrated by Dore Schary and showing

the European locations used for the filming, to

promote Lust for Life. In the film, a 75 year old

woman from Auvers sur Oise (not Jeanne Calment,

who lived in Arles several hundred km to the south),

who claims to have known Van Gogh when she was a young girl, meets star Kirk Douglas, and comments on how much he looks like the painter. This short promotional film is shown on Turner Classic Movies occasionally. At the start and ending of the film, the creators list and thank a number of galleries, collectors and historians who allowed the works of Van Gogh to be photographed for the film.


The death of Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch post-Impressionist painter,

occurred in the early morning of 29 July 1890, in his room at the  Auberge 

 Ravoux  in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise in northern France. He suffered a

gunshot wound two days before the date of his death, not far from the local

inn. It has always been assumed that he shot himself in the chest, wishing to

end his life.

Van Gogh Cafe At Night
 There is no blue without yellow and without orange. Vincent Van Gogh

However, Van Gogh's 2011 biographers Steven Naifeh and

Gregory White Smith argue that van Gogh did not commit suicide

but was shot accidentally by a boy he knew who had

" a malfunctioning gun ". A curator at the Van Gogh Museum has

stated that experts "cannot yet agree" with the authors' conclusions

about the painter's death.


In 1889, Vincent van Gogh experienced a deterioration in his

mental health. As a result of incidents in Arles leading to a public

petition, he was committed to a hospital. His condition improved

and he was ready to be discharged by March 1889, coinciding with

the wedding of his brother Theo to Johanna Bonger. However at

the last moment his resolution failed him and he confided to

Frédéric Salles, who served as an unofficial chaplain to the

hospital's Protestant patients, that he wanted to be confined to an



At Salles' suggestion van Gogh chose an asylum in nearby Saint

Rémy. Theo originally resisted this choice, even suggesting that

Vincent rejoin Paul Gauguin in  Pont Aven,  but was eventually

won over, agreeing to pay the asylum fees (requesting the

cheapest third-class accommodation). Vincent entered the asylum

in early May 1889.

His mental condition remained stable for a while and he was able

to work en plein air, producing many of his most iconic paintings,

such as Starry Night, at this time. However at the end of July,

following a trip to Arles, he suffered a serious relapse that lasted a

month. He made a good recovery, only to suffer another relapse in

late December 1889, and early the following January an acute

relapse while delivering a portrait of Madame Ginoux to her in Arles.

This last relapse, described by Jan Hulsker as his longest and saddest, lasted until March 1890. In May 1890 Vincent was discharged from the asylum (the last painting he produced at the asylum was  At Eternity's Gate,  an image of desolation and despair), and after spending a few days with Theo and Jo in Paris, Vincent went to live in  Auvers-sur-Oise, a commune

north of Paris popular with artists.




Sunflower Painting

Shortly before leaving  Saint-Rémy,  Van Gogh told how he was suffering from his stay in the hospital:

                                                                                                                                                                 "The surroundings here are beginning to weigh me down more than I can say... I need some air, I feel overwhelmed by boredom and grief."

On arriving at Auvers, van Gogh's health was still not very good. Writing on 21 May to Theo he comments:

                                                                                                                                                                        "I can do nothing about my illness. I am suffering a little just now — the thing is that after that long seclusion the days seem like weeks to me." But by 25 May, the artist was able to report to his parents that his health had improved and that the symptoms of his disease had disappeared. His letters to his sister Wilhelmina on 5 June and to Theo and his wife Jo on about 10 June indicate a continued improvement, his  nightmares  almost having disappeared.


On about 12 June, he wrote to his friends  Mr and Mrs Ginoux in Arles,  telling them how his health had suffered at Saint-Rémy but had since improved:

                                                "But latterly I had contracted the other patients' disease to such an extent that I could not be cured of my own. The other patients' society had a bad influence on me, and in the end I was absolutely unable to understand it. Then I felt I had better try a change, and for that matter, the pleasure of seeing my brother, his family and my painter friends again has done me a lot of good, and I am feeling completely calm and normal."


Furthermore, an unsent letter to Paul Gauguin which van Gogh wrote around 17 June is quite positive about his plans for the future. After describing his recent  colourful wheat studies,  he explains:

                                                                                                                 "I would like to paint some portraits against a very vivid yet tranquil background. There are the greens of a different quality, but of the same value, so as to form a whole of green tones, which by its vibration will make you think of the gentle rustle of the ears swaying in the breeze:

                                                                                                                                                                it is not at all easy as a colour scheme." On 2 July, writing to his brother, van Gogh comments:

                                                                                                               "I myself am also trying to do as well as I can, but I will not conceal from you that I hardly dare count on always being in good health. And if my disease returns, you would forgive me. I still love art and life very much..."


The first sign of new problems was revealed in a letter van Gogh wrote to Theo on 10 July. He first states, "I am very well, I am working hard, i have painted four studies and two drawings," but then goes on to say, "I think that we must not count on  Dr Gachet  at all. First of all, he is sicker than I am, I think, or shall we say just as much, so that's that... I don't know what to say. Certainly my last attack, which was terrible, was in a large measure due to the influence of the other patients." Later in the letter he adds, "For myself, I can only say at the moment that I think we all need rest — I feel exhausted (in French Je me sens - raté)." In an even more despairing tone he adds:

                                                                                       "And the prospect grows darker, I see no happy future at all."

van gogh crows in wheat field

In another letter to Theo on about 10 July, van Gogh explains:

                                                                                                  "I try to be fairly good-humoured in general, but my life too is threatened at its very root, and my step is unsteady too." He then comments on his current work:

                                                                                      "I have painted three more large canvases. They are vast stretches of corn under troubled skies, and I did not have to go out of my way very much in order to try to express sadness and extreme loneliness." But he adds, "I'm fairly sure that these canvases will tell you what I cannot say in words, that is, how healthy and  invigorating  I find the countryside."


In a letter to his parents written around 12 July, van Gogh again appears to be in a far more positive frame of mind:

                                                  "I myself am quite absorbed in that immense plain with wheat fields up as far as the hills, boundless as the ocean, delicate yellow, delicate soft green, the delicate purple of a tilled and weeded piece of ground, with the regular speckle of the green of flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate tones of blue, white, pink and violet. I am in a mood of almost too much calm, just the mood needed for painting this."


His brother  Theo  recognised that Vincent was experiencing problems. In a letter dated 22 July 1890, he wrote:

                                                                                                                                                                                 "I hope, my dear Vincent, that your health is good, and since you say that you write with difficulty, and don't talk about your work I am a little afraid that there is something troubling you or not going right." He went on to suggest he consulted his physician, Dr Gachet.


On 23 July, van Gogh wrote to his brother, stressing his renewed involvement in painting:

                                                                                                                                             "I am giving my canvases my undivided attention. I am trying to do as well as certain painters whom I have greatly loved and admired... Perhaps you will take a look at this sketch of  Daubigny's garden it is one of my most carefully thought-out canvases. I am adding a sketch of some old thatched roofs and the sketches of two size 30 canvases representing vast fields of wheat after the rain."


He returned to some of his earlier roots and subjects, and did many renditions of cottages, e.g.  Houses at Auvers. 


 Adeline Ravoux,  the innkeeper's daughter who was only 13 at the time, clearly recalls the incidents of July 1890. In an account written when she was 76, reinforced by her father's repeated reminders, she explains how on 27 July, van Gogh left the inn after breakfast. When he had not returned by dusk, given the artist's regular habits, the family became worried. He finally arrived after nightfall, probably around 9 pm, holding his stomach. Adeline's mother asked whether there was a problem. Van Gogh started to answer with difficulty, "No, but I have..." as he climbed the stairs up to his room. Her father thought he could hear groans and found van Gogh curled up in bed. When he asked whether he was ill, van Gogh showed him a wound near his heart explaining:

                                                             "I tried to kill myself." During the night, van Gogh explained he had set out for the wheat field where he had recently been painting. During the afternoon he had shot himself with a revolver and passed out. Revived by the coolness of the evening, he had tried in vain to find the revolver to complete the act. He then returned to the inn.


Adeline goes on to explain how her father sent  Anton Hirschig,  also a Dutch artist staying in the inn, to alert the local physician who proved to be absent. He then called on van Gogh's friend and physician, Dr Gachet, who dressed the wound but left immediately, considering it a hopeless case. Her father and Hirsching spent the night at van Gogh's bedside. The artist sometimes smoked, sometimes groaned but remained silent almost all night long, dozing off from time to time. The following morning, two gendarmes visited the inn, questioning van Gogh about his attempted suicide. In response, he simply


           "My body is mine and i am free to do what I want with it. Do not accuse anybody, it is I that wished to commit suicide."


As soon as the post office opened on the Monday morning, Adeline's father sent a telegram to van Gogh's brother, Theo, who arrived by train during the afternoon. Adeline Ravoux explains how the two of them watched over van Gogh who fell into a coma and died at about one o'clock in the morning. (The death certificate records the time of death as 1.30 am.) In a letter to his sister Lies, Theo told of his brother's feelings just before his death:

                                                                                                               "He himself wanted to die. When I sat at his bedside and said that we would try to get him better and that we hoped that he would then be spared this kind of despair, he said,

"La tristesse durera toujours" (The sadness will last forever). "I understood what he wanted to say with those words."


In her memoir of December 1913, Theo's wife  Johanna  refers first to a letter

from her husband after his arrival at Vincent's bedside:

                                                                                      "He was glad that I

came and we are together all the time... Poor fellow, very little happiness fell

to his share, and no illusions are left him. The burden grows to heavy at

times, he feels so alone..." And after his death, he wrote:

                                                                                         "One of his last

words was, 'I wish I could pass away like this,' and his wish was fulfilled. A

few moments and all was over. He had found the rest he could not find on



 Émile Bernard,  an artist and friend of van Gogh, who arrived in Auvers on 30

July for the funeral, tells a slightly different story, explaining that van Gogh

went out into the countryside on the Sunday evening, "left his easel against a

haystack and went behind the château and fired a revolver shot at himself."

He tells us how van Gogh had said that "his suicide had been absolutely deliberate and that he had done it in complete lucidity... When Dr Gachet told him that he still hoped to save his life, van Gogh replied, 'Then I'll have to do it over again.'"


Van Goghs Bedroom Van Gogh

In addition to the account given by Ameline Ravoux, Émile Bernard's letter to  Albert Aurier  provides details of the funeral which was held in the afternoon of 30 July 1890. Van Gogh's body was set out in "the painter's room" where it was surrounded by the "halo" of his last canvases and masses of yellow flowers including dahlias and sunflowers. His easel, folding stool and brushes stood before the coffin. Among those who arrived in the room were artists Lucien Pissarro and

Auguste Lauzet. The coffin was carried to the hearse at three o'clock. The company climbed the hill outside Auvers in hot sunshine, Theo and several of the others sobbing pitifully. The little cemetery with new tombstones was on a little hill above fields that were ripe for harvest. Dr Gachet, trying to suppress his tears, stammered out a few words of praise, expressing

his admiration for an "honest man and a great artist... who had only two aims, art and humanity."

van gogh bandaged

Van Gogh was particularly productive during his last few weeks in Auvers, completing over 70 paintings as well as a number of drawings and sketches. They cover landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Some of them appear to reflect his increasing loneliness while many others, with their bright colours, convey a more positive attitude. The letters he wrote during his last two months offer a considerable amount of background on Van Gogh's relentless will to paint coupled with frequent periods of  despondency.  Not only was he suffering from his mental illness but he was also deeply concerned for his brother Theo who was first worried about the ailing health of his son and was then confronted by serious problems with his business.


In 2011, authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith published a biography,  Van Gogh: The Life,  in which they challenged the conventional account of the artist's death. In the book, Naifeh and Smith argue that it was unlikely for van Gogh to have killed himself, noting the upbeat disposition of the paintings he created immediately preceding his death; furthermore, in private correspondence, van Gogh described suicide as sinful and immoral. The authors also question how van Gogh could have travelled the mile-long distance between the wheat field and the inn after sustaining the fatal stomach wound, how van Gogh could have obtained a gun despite his well-known mental health problems, and why van Gogh's painting gear was never found by the police.


                                                                  Naifeh and Smith developed an alternative hypothesis in which van Gogh did not commit suicide, but rather was a possible victim of manslaughter or foul play. Naifeh and Smith point out that the bullet entered van Gogh's abdomen at an oblique angle, not straight as might be expected from a suicide. They claim that van Gogh knew the boys who may have shot him, one of whom was in the habit of wearing a cowboy suit, and had gone drinking with them. Naifeh said, "So you have a couple of teenagers who have a malfunctioning gun, you have a boy who likes to play cowboy, you have three people probably all of whom had too much to drink." Naifeh claimed "accidental homicide" was "far more likely." The authors contend that art historian  John Rewald  visited Auvers in the 1930s, and recorded the version of events that is widely believed. The authors postulate that after he was fatally wounded, van Gogh welcomed death and believed the boys had done him a favour, hence his widely quoted deathbed remark:

                                                                                                                                     "Do not accuse anyone... it is I who wanted to kill myself."


On October 16, 2011, an episode of the TV news magazine 60 Minutes aired a report exploring the contention of Naifeh and Smith's biography. Some credence has been given to the theory by van Gogh experts, who cite a recorded interview with French businessman,  Rene Secretan,  in 1956, in which he admitted to tormenting-but not actually shooting-the artist. Nonetheless, this new biographical account has been greeted with some scepticism. Sceptic Joe Nickell also was not convinced and offered alternative explanations. In the July 2013 issue of the Burlington Magazine, two of the research specialists from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Louis van Tilborgh and Teio Meedendorp, present a theory that at the time of his death, van Gogh was in a troubled state, both personally (mentally and physically) and with his relations with his brother, Theo, and a likely candidate for suicide. They also present alternative explanations to the theories presented by Naifeh and Smith.








 Now I think I know what you tried to say to me. 
How you suffered for your sanity. How you tried to set them free. 
They would not listen they're not listening still...Perhaps they never will... 

Van gogh flowering orchards
gogh house ploughman
Field of Poppies by Vincent Van Gogh
starry night over the rhone
Vincent Willem van Gogh
french impressionists brilliant impressionist fan art
Van Gogh self portrait as an artist
Van gogh and photo

 The material on this site does not necessarily reflect the views of What If? Tees. 

 The Images and Text are not meant to offend but to Promote Positive Open Debate and Free Speech. 

 The material on this site does not reflect the views of What If? Tees. 

 The Images and Text are not meant to offend but to Promote Positive Open Debate and Free Speech. 

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