3 little-known paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

Lucas Wils
Publié le 24 June 2023
3 little-known paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

Still lifes, Japanese prints, portraits and landscapes: Van Gogh was one of the most productive painters of all time. Museum TV invites you to take a look back at 3 little-known paintings by Vincent Van Gogh.

Coalmine in the Borinage, august 1879

Coalmine in the Borinage, Vincent Van Gogh

You may not be familiar with this particular work, as it is Vincent Van Gogh's first painting. "Coalmine in the Borinage" is the outcome of a profound fascination that Van Gogh developed for the mines of Belgium. In 1878, Van Gogh chose to work as a clergyman in the Borinage region, near Mons in Belgium. To gain a firsthand understanding of the miners' conditions, he ventured 700 meters underground to the Marcasse shaft. Spending six hours in the mine, he experienced the challenging realities faced by the miners. Tragically, he also witnessed a fatal explosion caused by firedamp, resulting in the loss of 121 lives on April 18, 1879. This event had a profound impact on Van Gogh. Subsequently, in March 1880, he embarked on an extensive walk in the Pas-de-Calais region before returning to Belgium.

Restaurant de la Sirene at Asnieres, 1887

Restaurant de la Sirene at Asnieres, Vincent Van Gogh
©Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

The painting of the Sirène d'Asnières restaurant deviates from the prevailing style of the time. While Impressionist artist Auguste Renoir depicted the interiors of restaurants, as seen in his painting "Le Déjeuner des canotiers" from 1881, Vincent Van Gogh chose to focus on capturing the ambiance surrounding the restaurant. Rather than emphasizing convivial moments, Van Gogh's work reflects the external appearance. In this particular painting, the Dutch artist employs numerous touches of white and considers it to be one of his works closest to Impressionism.

Van Gogh's last work, Tree Roots , 27 July 1890

Tree Roots, Vincent Van Gogh
©Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

"Tree Roots" is a departure from the artist's typical style and may initially evoke abstract art. The painting's motif is challenging to discern, characterized by disconcerting colors. Van Gogh's approach was simply to depict what he observed, unfiltered reality. During his time in Aix-en-Provence, he created "Les grands platanes" in 1889, already imbued with realism, along with "Couloir de l'hospice de Saint-Paul à Saint Rémi" in the same year. Adding to the unsettling nature of "Tree Roots," on July 27, 1890, shortly after completing the sketch for the painting, Van Gogh tragically shot himself in the chest. "Tree Roots" can be seen as a farewell piece, serving as a poignant culmination of a tormented artistic life.

Now you know 3 little-known paintings by Vincent Van Gogh!

Visit our streaming platform to find our programmes about Vincent Van Gogh.