Vincent Van Gogh and Mauve












Mauve, who was married to Vincent’s cousin, was a well-known painter and his canvases were already quite expensive.
After his departure from Etten, rejected by his parents, Vincent found shelter in La Haye, at Mauve’s, who kindly greeted him, lent him some money to settle near his home and taught him colour.
He gave Vincent his first palette.
Vincent dubbed him his master and subscribed to all his views. Thanks to his advice, his watercolour “started to look like something”.
But after a few weeks, Mauve rejected him, and didn’t want to see him again.
Was it because he had learned his affair with a prostitute from Teersteg?
Vincent resented Teersteg, his former boss, for turning Mauve against him, for “reducing a man to misery, or to get in the way of his friendships without any precise reason”.
For a long time, he wished he had followed Mauve’s advice and would try to see him again over and over, but to no avail.
He went so far as to “acknowledge honestly, trustfully” he was wrong “about what happened a long time ago”.
When he heard about his death, Vincent was very sad, and thought a lot about it:
“Mauve’s death blew me away”; he painted “with passion” “a plot of ploughed land in an orchard, a fence made of reeds, and two blooming peach-trees, pink in a blazing blue sky, with white clouds, right in the sun”. And without thinking, he wrote on it: “Memory from Mauve, Vincent and Theo”.
To Theo: “if you like it, we will both send it to Mme Mauve”.