Vincent Van Gogh

The story begins a year after Van Gogh’s death. Arles postman Joseph, a close friend of Van Gogh, told his son Armond to deliver Van Gogh’s last letter to his brother Theodore. In 1891, six months after Vincent’s death, Armand found Theodore. The problem is that when Theo reads the letter, he also dies. Joseph closed Sindhuk (locker), considering the mysterious letter. After so long, the door of the ark opened to the researcher. Handing the letter to me, Joseph recalls the last days of his dear friend Van Gogh.

ভ্যান গগ এর মৃত্যুর এক বছর পর এই কাহিনীর শুরু। আর্লস শহরের পোস্টম্যান জোসেফ, ভ্যান গগের ঘনিষ্ঠ বন্ধু, তার ছেলে আর্মন্ডকে বলেছিলেন ভ্যানগগের শেষ চিঠিটা তার ভাই থিওডোরের কাছে পৌঁছাতে। ভিনসেন্ট মারা যাবার ছয় মাস পর ১৮৯১ সালে থিও যখন চিঠিটা পড়ে তখন সেও মারা যায়। চিঠি টাকে অপয়া ভেবে জোসেফ সিন্দুকে বন্ধ করে। এতদিন পরে সিন্দুকের দরজা খোলে। গবেষক এর হাতে চিঠিটা দিয়ে জোসেফ তার প্রিয় বন্ধু ভ্যান গগের শেষ দিনগুলির কথা স্মরণ করে। চিঠিতে কি লেখা ছিল?

After penning his final letter to his beloved brother, Theo, Vincent entrusted it to the local postman, Joseph Roulin, a friend and frequent subject of his portraits. Vincent, deeply troubled yet resolute in his decision, hoped that Theo would find solace in his words.

Joseph, unaware of the letter’s contents, handed it to his son, Arnold, with instructions to ensure its delivery. Arnold, a diligent young man, set out for Paris, determined to complete the task. He arrived at Theo’s home, only to be met with devastating news: Theo had succumbed to his own grief and illness, dying shortly after reading Vincent’s final message.

Shaken, Arnold returned the letter to his father, who was equally distraught. They decided to keep the letter hidden, fearing that its contents might cause further anguish. The letter remained with the Roulin family, locked away in a forgotten drawer, until its discovery many years later by an art historian researching the life of Vincent van Gogh.

Act 1: The Studio

The scene opens in Vincent van Gogh’s cluttered studio. Easels with unfinished paintings, paintbrushes, and paint tubes are scattered around. Vincent is sitting at a small table, sketching. The post office clerk, Joseph Roulin, enters, carrying a small package and a pipe.

Joseph: (cheerfully) “Vincent, my friend! I brought you some tobacco. Thought you might need a break.”

Vincent: (smiling wearily) “Joseph, always a welcome sight. Come in, come in. Let’s have a smoke.”

They sit together, lighting their pipes. Smoke curls lazily in the air.

Joseph: “You’ve been working hard, I see. What masterpiece are you creating today?”

Vincent: (laughs softly) “Masterpiece? Hardly. Just another attempt to capture the beauty I see… or the madness, perhaps. Sometimes I wonder if anyone will ever truly understand.”

Joseph: “They will, Vincent. Your work has a soul, a depth that will resonate through time. One day, your paintings will adorn the walls of homes and galleries around the world.”

Vincent: “Adorn walls, yes… but not for the reasons you might think. People will use them as mere decorations, just as they might use books to fill empty shelves, never truly reading them. Art will become a backdrop, a way to fill space rather than a window into the soul.”

Joseph: “You sound so certain. Do you really believe that?”

Vincent: “I do. Just look at how society treats poetry now. Poets are reduced to rehashing the classics, replicating old forms rather than creating something new. Originality is stifled by convention.”

Joseph: “But isn’t there still beauty in the classics? In the stories and characters that have stood the test of time?”

Vincent: “Of course, there is. But when we cease to innovate, to push boundaries, we lose something vital. Art, poetry, literature—they should be living, breathing entities, not relics to be dusted off and displayed.”

Joseph: “I see your point. But perhaps there’s a way to balance both—honoring the old while embracing the new. Like your paintings, Vincent. They are rooted in tradition, yet they are uniquely yours.”

Vincent: “I hope you’re right, Joseph. But it’s hard to stay hopeful when the world seems so indifferent.”

Joseph: “You know, Vincent, you might not see it now, but your work will inspire future generations. It will be more than decoration; it will be a source of inspiration, of hope. People will look at your paintings and feel a connection, a spark that drives them to create, to dream.”

Vincent: “Dreams… sometimes they feel like the only thing keeping me going.”

Joseph: “Then keep dreaming, my friend. And keep painting. The world needs your vision, even if it doesn’t realize it yet.”

They sit in comfortable silence for a moment, the smoke from their pipes mingling with the air.

Act 2: The Changing Times

Time passes, and the studio scene changes slightly to show the passage of time. Vincent and Joseph sit together again, the atmosphere more somber.

Joseph: “Vincent, I’ve been thinking about our conversations. About art and its place in the world. Do you ever wonder what the future holds for it? For us?”

Vincent: “Every day, Joseph. The world is changing rapidly. Sometimes I fear that true creativity is being lost to convenience and commercialization.”

Joseph: “It’s true, things are becoming more about mass production. But there’s still a place for genuine art, for works that come from the heart.”

Vincent: “Maybe. But what if in the future, people no longer seek to understand the depth of a painting or the soul of a poem? What if it all becomes just another commodity?”

Joseph: “Then it’s up to us, and those like us, to remind them of its value. To show them that art is more than just decoration. It’s a reflection of the human spirit.”

Vincent: “I suppose you’re right. We must keep creating, keep pushing forward, even when it seems futile.”

Joseph: “Exactly. And who knows? Maybe one day, people will look back at our time and see it as a period of great artistic renaissance. A time when true visionaries like you laid the groundwork for something magnificent.”

Vincent: (smiling faintly) “Ever the optimist, Joseph. But I appreciate it. Your belief in me, in what I do, it means more than you know.”

Joseph: “And you, Vincent, mean more to this world than you can imagine. Keep painting, my friend. Keep dreaming.”

They continue to smoke in contemplative silence, the studio filled with a quiet sense of camaraderie and hope.

[Curtain falls/Fade out]

ACT 3 Copy of Letter

In the quiet town of Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his final days, a mysterious letter surfaced decades after his tragic death. Addressed to his beloved brother, Theo, the letter contained a secret message that shed light on Vincent’s tortured mind and his ultimate decision to end his life.

The letter, written in Vincent’s distinctive, hurried handwriting, read:

“Dear Theo,

As the days grow darker, I find myself sinking deeper into the shadows of my mind. The weight of my thoughts is unbearable, and the specter of poverty haunts my every step. Yet, amidst this turmoil, I have found a peculiar solace. I have come to believe that this life is but a prelude to a more fulfilling existence where our desires and dreams are no longer bound by earthly constraints.

I have painted my sorrow, my anguish, and my fleeting moments of joy. Each stroke is a testament to my struggle and my hope for something beyond this world. There is one painting, my dear brother, that holds a clue to my decision. It is ‘The Red Vineyard,’ the only piece I sold during my lifetime. In its fiery hues and tranquil landscape lies my secret. The vineyard, ripe with promise, symbolizes my belief in a fruitful life after death.

I must depart from this world to find peace and fulfillment in the next. The bullet will be my passage, and with it, I shall manifest my desires in a realm where suffering no longer exists.

Forgive me, Theo. In this final act, I find hope.

Yours eternally,

Vincent”

কয়েক বছর পর অনুরূপ আরেকটি চিঠি পাওয়া যায় রাশিয়ার এক মিউজিয়ামে। এটিও ভিনসেন্ট ভ্যান গগ এর হাতে লেখা একটা চিঠি। তা পত্রিকায় প্রকাশ হলে আলোড়ন সৃষ্টি করে। প্রথম গবেষক লক্ষ্য করলেন এই চিটির বাক্য গঠনে আগের চিঠির সাথে সামান্য পার্থক্য ছাড়া মূল সংবাদে কোনো পরিবর্তন হয় নাই। দুই গবেষক এর কাছে উভয় চিঠি সত্য। চিঠিতে কি লেখা ছিল?

The researcher notices in a newspaper that a few years later, another similar letter, written by Vincent Van Gogh, was found in a museum in Russia. When it was published in the newspaper, it created a stir. I have noticed no change in the original message except for a slight difference in the sentence structure of this letter from the previous letter. According to researchers, both letters are authentic. What was written in the letter?

Vincent’s letter was tucked away inside the frame of “The Red Vineyard,” a diligent art restorer discovered many years later. The painting itself, with its vibrant reds and golds, depicted a scene of harvest—workers in the vineyard, gathering grapes under the warm sun. It was a rare moment of financial success for Vincent, yet it held the key to his deepest thoughts.

The discovery of the letter and its connection to the painting provided a new understanding of Vincent’s tragic end. It revealed a man who, despite his immense talent, was overwhelmed by his inner demons and the relentless grip of poverty. His belief in a more fulfilling existence beyond this life was his final comfort.

“The Red Vineyard” now resides in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, a silent witness to Vincent’s struggles and his ultimate hope for peace. The letter remains with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, a poignant reminder of the artist’s tortured soul and his unwavering bond with his brother, Theodor.

The historian encounters another version of the letter unfolded in the mystery of Vincent van Gogh’s tragic end.

The other version of the letter read:

“Dear Theo,

As the days grow darker, I find myself sinking deeper into the shadows of my mind. The weight of my thoughts is unbearable, and the specter of poverty haunts my every step. Yet, amidst this turmoil, I have found a peculiar solace. I have come to believe that this life is but a prelude to a more fulfilling existence where our desires and dreams are no longer bound by earthly constraints.

I have painted my sorrow, anguish, and fleeting moments of joy. Each stroke shows my struggle and hope for something beyond this world. One painting, my dear brother, holds a clue to my decision. It is ‘The Red Vineyard,’ the only piece I sold during my lifetime. In its fiery hues and tranquil landscape lies my secret. The vineyard, ripe with promise, symbolizes my belief in a fruitful life after death.

I must depart from this world to find peace and fulfillment in the next. The bullet will be my passage; with it, I shall manifest my desires in a realm where suffering no longer exists.

Forgive me, Theo. In this final act, I find hope.

Yours eternally,

Vincent”

As investigations continued, suspicions arose around individuals close to Vincent. The local doctor, Paul Gachet, who had treated Vincent’s mental health issues, became a person of interest. Gachet had access to Vincent during his final hours, and some believed he might have played a role in Vincent’s death.

Speculation grew around a possible divine intervention or a sinister plot. Could someone have wanted Vincent silenced?

A historian was puzzled by the timing of Theo’s death and the discovery of a letter. The official record stated that Vincent had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, yet the letter suggested a deeper conspiracy. Was it indeed a suicide, or had someone orchestrated Vincent’s demise?

Was Vincent’s death a tragic act of despair, or was it a murder cloaked in the guise of suicide? The enigma of Vincent van Gogh’s final days remains one of the most compelling mysteries in art history, with the latter serving as a haunting reminder of his profound struggles and ultimate hope for peace.

The letter’s poignant words, found too late, only deepened the mystery. His art and philosophy threatened specific interests. 

The truth remained elusive. The letter, a testament to Vincent’s tortured soul and unwavering bond with his brother, left more questions than answers. 

To be continued…