VAN GOGH, Vincent
Click to open The Vincent van Gogh Gallery Artist Biography
Oil on canvas
32.0 x 40.0 cm.
Arles: November, 1888
Click here to open The Vincent van Gogh Gallery display page. Click Next Painting to see seven additional Van Gogh treatments of the Sower.
Click here and scroll down for thumbnails of all eight Van Gogh Sowers.
One thought on “A Proper 11 Art for Readings 7/17/2011”
I was surprised to find that Vincent had painted eight sowers and in such variety – ranging from last week’s tribute to Millet, whom he admired, to some bright works to this week’s rather somber treatment.
Vincent’s variety makes me think of the broad range of composition we find in these two parables on sowing contained in Matthew’s third great discourse.
Last week we read the parable of the Sower, traceable back to Jesus, appearing in Mark, Matthew and Luke and the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, followed by an allegorical interpretation originating with Mark and subsequently used by Matthew and Luke.
This encouragement from Jesus to trust in the overall success of the mission is interpreted by the synoptic evangelists in terms of their practical experience.
This week things are a little different. We read the parable of the Wheat and the Tares “only distantly related to the words of Jesus, if at all,”* along with a Matthew created allegorical intrepretation. The parable is found in Matthew and the Gospel of Thomas while the interpretation only in Matthew. “The parable reflects the concern of a young Christian community atempting to define itself over against an evil world.”*
So evangelism can be a complex affair. I’m reminded that Vincent tried unsucessfully to follow his father into the clergy and can only wonder what of that experience if any, we see in these sowers.
* commentary taken from Funk,Hoover & The Jesus Seminar, The Five Gospels, Polebridge Press, 1993