Is it possible for a painting to be a masterpiece and the painter to be deficient in his craft, notwithstanding that he is its creator?

No: The painting cannot be like the painter, for otherwise it would have painted itself. And no matter how perfect the painting may be, in comparison with the painter it is utterly deficient.


The Artist

photo: ’The sower’ by Vincent van Gogh, June 1888.

VincentVan Gogh

worked under the French southern sun in a feverish pace, sometimes making multiple paintings a day. But these two years proved to be the last of his life, marked by dramatic crises. He was tortured by what he called ‘the voice of the terrible lucidity’. He was difficult for himself and especially for others. At the same time Van Gogh would never have become ‘Van Gogh’ if it wasn’t for his difficult personality structure. It remains unconceivable that he painted (the best) half of his works in these last two years of his life. Van Gogh actually needed that tedious, choleric and oversensitive character to create something that in those days nobody was waiting for. Vincent painted over 10 different versions of ‘The Sower’. For him the sower was a symbol of birth and new life, associating to texts from the Holy Bible on the sower, as in Marcus and Matthew, about seed that falls on fertile and barren ground.