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The Diary of Anne Ku

4 June 2000 Sunday in Amsterdam warming up


Last time I was in Amsterdam, I was so fascinated by the window displays that I didn't visit the museums.  This time I made sure I visited not one, but three museums!  Actually, just one would do - the Van Gogh museum outshone the other two.

Vincent Van Gogh was considered by his peers to be a failure in his lifetime.  He was too enthusiastic to be a preacher - so he got kicked out.  He dated the wrong kind of women.  His parents disapproved of his involvement with a pregnant, unmarried mother who modelled for him and also worked as a prostitute.  Later, he was so poor that he could not afford to pay for models.   By modelling for himself, he painted more than two dozen self-portraits.  His brother Theo, despite being an art dealer in Paris, was unable to sell any of his paintings.

At the age of 27, he decided to become an artist.   His art was largely self-taught.   He tried to commit suicide more than once.  In the end, he succeeded by shooting himself in the chest.  What an incredible story!  A mere decade as an unrecognised, troubled artist - but leaving a legacy to inspire us all!




Starry Night


The potato eaters


head of a woman