“Tired as they are from the photographic and silly perfection of some.” 

Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, Letter #805 20.09.1889 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

We know that Vincent didn’t like photography, and this also explains why there are so few photographs of him. Vincent thought that photographs lacked life, and much preferred painted portraits. 

In his work, he was primarily concerned with portraying the character of the subject. When Vincent was young, photography was still complicated and expensive. The collodion process is said to have been invented in 1851, 2 years before Vincent was born.

The intriguing phenomenon of photography became a point of comparison for artists, including Van Gogh. Although he started off considering photography as being rather ‘mechanical’.

Vincent van Gogh had an aversion to photography.
In September 1888 Van Gogh, living in #arles, received from his sister Wilhelmina, a photograph of their mother. In a letter to Theo, Vincent wrote: “I am doing a portrait of Mother for myself. I cannot stand the colorless photograph and am trying to do one in a harmony or color, as I see it in my memory. ” (Letter 546)

In another letter Vincent said: “I am working on a portrait of Mother, because the black-and-white photograph annoys me so. Ah, what portraits could be made from nature with photography and painting! I always hope that we are still to have a great revolution in portraiture” (Letter 548)

Vincent grew up in the days when the wetplatecollodion technique was the most common way of photography.
Inspired by his idea of photography, I choose subjects that he has written about, drawn or painted.