Monday, September 17, 2007

Vincent Van Cloth

Vincent Van Cloth
By Martin Bailey

Vincent van Gogh was notorious for always being short of money and materials, and it has now been discovered that he resorted to painting on tea towels. Louis van Tilborgh, a curator at the Van Gogh Museum, found that the artist used this unorthodox material for two groups of pictures.

On 16 November 1889, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from the asylum at St-Rémy, saying that he had finished his supply of canvas, and needed a further ten metres. The roll did not arrive from Paris until three weeks later.

A detailed examination of two pictures from this period has revealed that Van Gogh painted on tea towel or tablecloth material for The Large Plane Trees (Cleveland Museum of Art) and Wheatfields in a Mountainous Landscape (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo).

The off-white fabric has a grid pattern of tiny red rectangles, which are just visible where the paint is thin. We can only speculate, but presumably the tea towels were from the asylum’s kitchen or refectory.

Complete Story

The Large Plane Trees ( )

The Wheat fields in a mountainous landscape (

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