Van Gogh’s Portrait of Eugene Bloch (1888)
Van Gogh once said that Eugene Bloch’s face reminded him of Dante which is why, according to Heather McPherson, his portrait by Van Gogh is today known as The Poet.1
Frankly I don’t see much resemblance between Bloch’s face, as portrayed by Van Gogh, and Dante’s though they both had large noses. Katherine Sachs has a different idea. Based on a letter from Vincent to Theo she believes that Bloch's portrait represents "The Artist."2
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Sachs is certainly correct because, unknown even to her, Bloch resembles Van Gogh: similar nose, similar moustache, both blond. Nevertheless, whether artist or poet, true artists think of themselves as part of a continuum of poetic minds. Van Gogh described himself as "a link in the chain of artists" that began, as George Shackleford remarked, "in the past and would extend beyond his present to the future of painting."3
See conclusion below
More Works by Van Gogh
This portrait of a one-eyed man is a simple illustration of the two modes of poetic vision: insight and observation.
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