But I could have told you Vincent – It’s your Birthday!

tortured soul with bandaged ear

Today is the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh.  It’s a pity the man never lived to enjoy his fame.   Much has already been written about him already.  Van Gogh was an enigma, born miles before his time.  I think this is where the idea of the starving artist came from: the tortured soul suffering for his art:  soul searching, misunderstood: the poor scraping artist starving in his garret.  Of course, some did do this.  Some even think that it is neccessary to suffer for their art, or like Tracy Emin, sufferng becomes their ouvre, the subject of their work.  But these days generally, artist’s can’t be expected to live by their art alone (lucky ones can), others have to join the rat race and peddle on that hamster wheel to keep themselves in materials!

tortured angst
tortured angst

To suffer for art was considered romantic.  The famous painting by Henry Wallis ‘Death of Chatterton’ 1856, encapsulates the romantic notion of the starving artist.  Poet Thomas Chatteron committed suicide in his garret  by poisoning himself, rather than starve.  He was 17 years old.

death of chatterton by henry wallis 1856
death of chatterton by henry wallis 1856

The artiste Morrisey from the Smiths spoke to angst ridden teenagers like no other, sharing all the pain of growing up.  We revelled in it! No one understood us……the pain fades but the memory doesn’t.  It’s a good job we decided to ‘grow out of it’ and ‘get over ourselves…… or is it?  Those that didn’t now seem to be immortalised!

 Last night I dreamt

that somebody loved me

No hope, no harm

Just another false alarm

Last night I felt

real arms around me

No hope, no harm

Just another false alarm

So tell me how long

Before the last one?

And tell me how long

before the right one?

The story is old I KNOW

But it goes on

The story is old I know

But it goes on


And on

And goes on

And on


morrissey the man who UNDERTANDS

morrissey the man who UNDERTANDS

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.




Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton








18 thoughts on “But I could have told you Vincent – It’s your Birthday!

  1. His tragic death and suffering are always associated with his art. Sometimes this takes the joy away, which he must surely have felt sometimes. Thanks for commenting Stevo

  2. I don’t think VanGogh created the idea of starving artist, but he certainly epitomizes it now. Yes, how romantic and bohemian to starve in a cellar. : ) I could never be that kind of artist, I’d rather have lunch.

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