Van Gogh’s Art, in His Own Words (Exhibit/NYC)

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No one is certain when Vincent van Gogh and Émile Bernard first met. It was probably in March 1886, shortly after van Gogh, nearly 33, moved to Paris from Antwerp and encountered Bernard, 15 years his junior, in Fernand Cormon’s atelier. They saw each other again in Père Tanguy’s art supply shop, a popular meeting place for the city’s young artists, and a friendship developed.

Van Gogh wrote some 800 letters in his lifetime, including 22 to Bernard from December 1887 to November 1889. (Most of their correspondence unfolded after van Gogh moved to the south of France.) The Morgan Library & Museum is the curator of 19 of those letters, and for the first time in nearly 70 years they are being exhibited, in “Painted With Words: Vincent van Gogh’s Letters to Émile Bernard.” The show includes one additional letter and 22 related paintings, drawings and watercolors by both artists.

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