Waby Liberia asks whether Van Gogh wanted to be famous, or just to earn a living. Check out the answer.
After turning his hand to a few other professions, in 1880, Vincent decided to become an artist/illustrator. He thought it seemed like a decent way of earning a living but realised that he couldn’t count on immediate success, as artists just starting out rarely sell anything.
The financial support offered by Theo was certainly a godsend. Vincent gradually became more comfortable with his chosen profession, aiming to produce art that moved people. He wasn’t concerned with fame – Vincent wasn’t good at accepting compliments.
When an article praising his work appeared in a leading art publication, he wrote in a letter: ‘When I heard that my work was having some success and read that article I was immediately afraid that I’d regret it — it’s almost always the case that success is the worst thing that can happen in a painter’s life.’