Vincent’s “friend” and rival in Arles
- Troubled relationship with his past, leaving his wife and children behind to pursue his art
- Had particular views, re: art. That nothing should stand in the way of creating art. Believed the artist must be poor in order to surrender everything for the sake of art.
- Deep down,, incredibly selfish. Had no true or deep friends. People were there for the using/taking, for promoting his own agenda.
- Longed to live in an “uncivilized” state, re: to live among the natives and like the natives in what he perceived as an “innocent” or “pure” state of living, re: living outside the bounds and mores of society and law.
- Medical issues: re: syphilis
- Wants desperately to be recognized and/or celebrated.
- Essentially, a narcissist. It’s all about him, all the time. Older than Vincent, he arrives in Arles expecting to “mooch” off of Theo and only uses Vincent because of his connection to Theo. When he arrives in Oct of 1888 he is shocked to find Vincent in full form. He is jealous both of the quality and quantity of Vincent’s output. Vincent has no need of a “mentor.”
- Lazy, unmotivated, yet the proverbial “silver-tongued devil.”