'Still-life with open Bible, Candelestick and Novel', Nuenen, October 1887
Visiting Van Gogh, arriving before one of his icons, an opened Bible. In darkness light shines from its pages. Opened where a Bible usually opens halfway: Isaiah. One of his favourite Books, and why not? “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” An icon’s holy if it depicts holy persons, but he refused to depict biblical persons, seeing them all in living humans. An icon may be holy if it depicts holy things. The candle’s out. This Dutch Protestant Rembrandt-like preaches how “the light shines in darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it.” Zola’s ‘La Joie de Vivre’, a midrash.