Madness and painting… Renoir about Van Gogh, Cézanne and Jules II

Van Gogh and I

Jean Renoir, the famous film director, son of the not less famous impressionist painter Renoir (Pierre-Auguste) reported a conversation he had with his father about Van Gogh, mainly… I’ll try to translate it (you cannot trust Babelfish, these days!) for you:

…” my father suggested that the death of Van Gogh was “not a very flattering event. Not even père Durand (*Ruel, the art dealer) could understand a thing!” This indifference toward such a brilliant genius was, in my father’s opinion, the condamnation of “this century of garrulous people”. I ask him what did he make of Van Gogh’s madness. His answer was that in order to paint you have to be a bit crazy. “If Van Gogh was crazy, I am too… As for Cézanne, well, he’s raving mad!…” And he added: “The Pope Jules II must have been also mad. That’s why he…

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