Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! The temperature’s climbing outside, but in the museum where this month’s story is set, the air is cool and welcoming.
Sasha is a great admirer of art. She dabbles in painting herself and has great respect for the works of the those who came before her. She regularly wanders through a nearby art museum, appreciating the incredible works featured. But there’s one great artist she admires most of all. She pauses in front of a piece by the great Vincent van Gogh, entranced by his powerful brush strokes and vivid colors.
It destroys Sasha to think van Gogh never had the chance to know the far-reaching impact of his work, how much future generations would admire his art. If only he’d known his own greatness.
“Vin, you’re great,” she murmurs to one of his paintings, even though she’s over a century too late.
“Vin, you’re great” = venerate (VIN-er-ate), which means to regard with reverence, to respect. Van Gogh is now venerated by generations of art lovers, people who are in awe of his incredible talent.
It’s unfortunate that such broad admiration for his art did not come during his lifetime, but that didn’t keep him from creating. Over the course of his life of 37 years, he created over 2,000 works of art.
Praise and respect can provide great encouragement. But the truest artists are those who create because they must, because they are compelled to, because for them, creating is living. And how fortunate for us that van Gogh didn’t let a lack of veneration during his lifetime prevent him from creating the art millions now admire.