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Arts and Crafts

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More About Vincent van Gogh

After his marriage proposal was declined, Vincent van Gogh decided to become a minister. He taught at a Methodist boys' school, preached to the congregation, and studied for his entrance exam to the School of Theology in Amsterdam.

He was denied because he called Latin a 'dead language' of poor people and was unwilling to take the Latin exams. The same situation occurred at the Church of Belgium.

He voluntarily moved to an almost depleted and poverty-stricken coal mine in the south of Belgium in late 1878 where he preached and ministered.

It was there where he got the name "Christ of the Coal Mines". Since Vincent's life started to resemble martyrdom, the evangelical committees refused to renew his contract and once more Vincent was without a job.

He entertained the idea of becoming an artist and moved to Brussels in 1880. His brother Theo, who had become an art dealer, offered to support Vincent financially.

Even though Vincent had been drawing and sketching almost his entire life up to this point, he had no education in art and began studying art and taking art lessons on his own.

He was not very successful where love was concerned. After Eugenie Loyer, he fell in love with his widowed cousin Kee Vos-Stricker in 1881.

She too refused his marriage proposal and that was enough for Vincent to abandon his religious aspirations. After moving to The Hague in 1882, he fell in love with Clasina Maria "Sien" Hoornik, a prostitute and alcoholic, with whom he stayed for almost a year.

Under pressure of his family to break off this relationship, he left her in September of 1882 and travelled to Drenthe. He was severely depressed, but his dedication and passion for art helped him through these times of hardship.

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