With The Christmas Prayer, a very special loan to the museum this season, Van Gogh hoped to express what he called the “special mood” of the holidays. In a letter to his brother, he explained that he was particularly satisfied with this drawing, comparing it favorably to another of his works. It is clear that he identified with the figure giving thanks before a meal. “Just as much as an old man of that kind, I have a feeling of belief in something on high.” The scene was probably based on his observations of life in the Hague, where Van Gogh made many studies of local people.
In that spirit, we hope you all experience the "special mood" of the holiday season!
Image Credit: Vincent van Gogh. The Christmas Prayer, 1882. Lent in memory of a boy with whom every day was like Christmas because he shared so much love.