What surprised me most about this collection was Van Gogh’s self-doubt, the fact that at the end of his relatively short life, this great artist still considered himself a failure.
I was also struck by the fact that Van Gogh was initially a preacher. Only after becoming disillusioned with that career path did he turn to painting. Shunning formal training, he hoped to give an original voice to the world—-painting as preaching, so to speak. And what an original voice he had!
Like Van Gogh, many of us are plagued with self-doubt. But who among us does not have an original voice?
Click "Play" to hear Don McLean's song “Vincent,” inspired by Van Gogh’s painting La Nuit Etoilee, or Starry Night, (Saint-Remy, 1889). A slide show of Van Gogh's paintings accompanies the video.
Note: The painting above, at right, is a Self-Portrait of Van Gogh, dedicated to Paul Gauguin (1888, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University).