The Resurrection of Van Gogh's Ghost in the Garden of Gethsemane

helene ruiz

Joined October 2007

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Artist's Description

3 nights, 4 days
Acrylic on gessoed/primed raw linen
Painted for an exhibit opening in March 2012 “The Mystery of Van Gogh: The Ghost Paintings”
Artists were asked to to respond/re-construct Van Gogh’s destroyed painting of Jesus with an Angel in Gethsemane. My response/re-construction to the painting Van Gogh himself destroyed according to a letter he wrote to his brother Theo while he was in the asylum Van Gogh himself signed into..I decided to replace the Christ figure with Van Gogh himself dressed in orange and blue, with his bandaged ear. I placed his ear on top of the scraped painting (canvas) as it also was symbolic of his self-destruction. I believe he cut his ear off not because of a woman, but because no-one actually heard him, his turmoil, his craving for human contact, his severe loneliness. The olives are spilling their oils to annoint his destroyed painting. I truly felt the “spirit” of Van Gogh when i created this piece. Hope he would have liked my take on it.
Here are some words from the letter to his brother Theo where he describes the work;
“I’ve scraped off one of the large painted studies. A Garden of Olives-with a blue and orange Christ figure, a yellow angel – a piece of red earth, green and bluehills. Olive trees with purple and crimson turnks, with grey green and blue foliage. Sky lemon yellow. I scraped it off because I tell myself it’s wrong to do figures of that importance without a model.”

link to the letters of Van Gogh
and a link to some info on Van Gogh here

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Artwork Comments

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