Unformatted text preview: Vincent van Gogh's turn to religion and his subsequent spiritual crisis are essential periods of his life. Not only does his attempt at religious life represent his second major career failure after being dismissed from the art trade, but his almost fanatic religious devotion and obsessive asceticism help illuminate both his psychological struggles and the ecstatic, otherworldly, spiritual nature of his later artwork. 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...
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This note was uploaded on 12/25/2011 for the course ART 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.
- Fall '11