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Style: Realism

Topic: Lights Life

Date: 1885

Museum: Van Gogh Museum (Netherlands)

Van Gogh painted this work in October, 1885. The Bible belonged to his father who was a a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands. Van Gogh and his father had a turbulent relationship up until his father's death at the end of March, 1885. For Van Gogh the Bible represented everything he saw in his father: blind devotion to religion and faith, forever trapped in an antiquated mindset. The Bible is open to Isaiah 53 which describes a servant of God as "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . he was despised and we esteemed him not." This individual is often perceived as a Christ-like figure and Van Gogh, despite his ambivalent feelings about religion, did have respect for the ideals of Jesus Christ. One could also interpret this outcast figure as how Van Gogh perceived himself, particularly in the eyes of his parents

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