In an 1888 letter, reflecting on the "form" of his "madness," van Gogh comments that "when in a state of excitement my feelings lead me...to the contemplation of eternity...rather than to persecution mania" (L 556, Oct. 1888). Eleven years earlier, in a March 1877 letter to Theo, van Gogh had already decided on his religious mission: "Someone in our family has always been a minister of the gospel...it is my prayer and innermost desire that the spirit of my father and grandfather may also rest upon me" (L eighty-nine). However, despite his tremendous exertions and concentration on this one true religious mission to the detriment of his mental health and happiness (the same rigorous, but dangerous disciplined attitude and ethic that would eventually make him a brilliant artist), Vincent failed as a preacher. In May 1877, he moved to Amsterdam to
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.
van Gogh comments, ecstatic spiritual inspiration, theological entrance exams, rural mining region