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December 05, 2022

Van Gogh Student of the Bible

There’s perhaps no greater tragic figure in the world of art than Vincent van Gogh. Afflicted with mental illness, he took his own life at age 37. But did you know that van Gogh was a serious student of the Bible? In his mid-20s, he constantly studied the Bible, copying and translating long passages in Dutch, French, German, and English. He told his roommate, “The Bible is my solace, my support in life.” Though his later personal beliefs are a complicated topic, van Gogh came back to biblical themes in some of his latest works. The year before his death, he painted a scene of Mary with the dead body of Jesus after the crucifixion based on thePietà. For the face of Jesus, van Gogh painted what some believe is a self-portrait.

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