Professor solves the mystery of Van Gogh’s ‘ghost paintings’

Clifford Edwards, Ph.D.

Clifford Edwards, Ph.D.

Vincent Van Gogh created roughly 2,000 paintings, yet one artwork in particular apparently caused Van Gogh such consternation that he painted and destroyed it twice.

In a new book, Virginia Commonwealth University religious studies professor Clifford Edwards, Ph.D. – the author of five books on Van Gogh – solves the mystery surrounding these so-called “ghost paintings,” and argues that they are essential to understanding Van Gogh, his religion and his artwork.

In “Van Gogh’s Ghost Paintings: Art and Spirit in Gethsemane” (Cascade Books), Edwards takes the reader on a journey that begins in a Zen master’s room in Japan and ends at a ruined monastery in southern France as he investigates the lost paintings, and why Van Gogh felt he had to destroy them.

Edwards, a professor in the School of World Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences, recently discussed his new book.

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