Saturday, May 01, 2010

Dear Theo

The fellow above is one Theodorus Van Gogh born this day 1857 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Our boy Theo is probably only famous because of an accident of birth. That accident of birth made Vincent Van Gogh his older brother. However, with Theo, Vincent might have just been another lunatic that like to paint a few pretty pictures. Though Vincent had the talent, Theo had the job that made it possible for Vincent to paint those pretty pictures. He was not wealthy, but Theo gave Vincent a monthly allowance, and painting supplies that allowed Vincent, lunatic that he was, the time, and the wherewithal to become the famous painter that is he today. Their letters to each other make for some interesting reading, and perhaps that is what a hero is the drudge that allows the more talented one the freedom to pursue his art. In the end it did make them both famous (after they died alas), but fame is a fickle bitch, and few of us remember the worker bee Theo, we prefer to remember the queen bee, Vincent. Well, I am one of those few that, on International Workers Day, remember the worker bee, Theo. Once a prole, always a prole. So, for providing his talented, but lunatic brother, the support he needed to make great art, Theo Van Gogh (May 1st, 1857-January 25th, 1891, at the age of 33 of syphilis) you are my (246th) hero of the day.

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