tv Charlie Rose PBS January 11, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
additional funding provided by these funders. and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia and news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> we begin this evening with an assessment of the new hampshire primary, mitt romney was tonight's decisive winner, it is the first time in nonincumbent candidate won both new hampshire and iowa, he addressed campaign supporters a short time ago. >> thank you. thank you, new hampshire. tonight we made history.
>> this state has always been a very special place for our family, and i have made a homeus here and filled wit great memories of our children, our grandchildren, the granite state moment we just enjoyed is one we will always remember and i have my five sons behind me and our daughters in law and grandkids around here somewhere. they are right behind us, it is great to have family here. you know, tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we go back to work. and this president wakes up every morning and looks across america, and is proud to announce it could be worse. it could be worse? that is not what it means to be an american, it could be worse. of course not. what defines us as americans is our unwavering conviction that we know it must be better and it will be better. >> the president has run out of
ideas, now he is running out of excuses. tonight -- tonight we are asking the good people of south carolina to join the citizens of new hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time. >> rose: ron paul finished in second place, and john huntsman in third. huntsman had banked his candidacy on a strong finish in the granite state. his campaign said it will continue on to south carolina, joining me now. >rom new hampshire two of the best, al hunt, the washington editor in charge of bloomberg election coverage and malhalperin, sr. political analyst for time magazine, i am pleased to have them on my program. i go to al and then to mark, two questions. one, your assessment of what happened and why. >> al? >> charlie, i think it was a good victory for mitt romney. it is what he should have done. the on line book service had him 81 percent probability to get the nomination last night, 86
tonight, that is about right. i think that he was clearly, these voters up here, the most acceptable candidate and the one that they thought was most likely to win in november. two sub themes here quickly, one good one, one not so good, the good part was santorum and gingrich finished a dismal fourth and fifth which virtually assures that south carolina the social conservatives, the evangelicals will not coalesce around one person instress three people, that helps mitt romney. but one is not so good he started to really be attacked for the first time seriously, there are no anti-romney ads virtual krul econom chili on sud sunday, meet the press debate, and the last couple of days on bain and private equity, that it essentially his campaign. he doesn't talk much about being governor of massachusetts and it think he has taken some hits on that and i think it is going to get a lot worse in the next couple of weeks. >> rose: mark. >> well, i think the dirty little secret of this campaign for the republican nomination ie
there has been one candidate and one campaign who have been playing at kind of a b plus level compared to past presidential elections, and the rest have been praying at ce1 minus or worse, they don't have war rooms, opposition research of any quality, they don't have a lot of money, they don't have candidates performing at a high level so mitt romney has smart as he is not only becomes thed nonincumbent republican to win iowa and new hampshire but after investing heavily in both states and losing them both, he is anoc improved candidate and i think one of the best speeches i heard him give tonight and takingat advantage of the spotlight butn comes as no surprise i think at least in retrospect he was able to beat the field which is divided and weak.ik >> rose: what did you like about the speech? >> i thought, first of all, a lot of candidates make the mistake, this is probably the biggest spotlight mitt romney has had and maybe the biggest he has for a while if he wins south carolina easily which i think he could now, he took advantage of the moment, well written speech, well delivered, his themes about
going against the president, majoring in economic policy, with a minor in international relations, contrasting with the president and two insignificant small but meaningful clicks one he said the republicans that are going after the bain capital issue were, in effect, desperata to try to use that as an issue and defended capitalism which is going to make him more popular with even rush limbaugh and il think a lot of congressional and donor republicans who will want to be for him now and, two, he talked about his concern for common people, if there is a hitch in mitt romney's ride togs victory in iowa and new hampshire it is the things he said in the last 48 hours that have seen to put him as out of touch with working people. he must fix that. he must not only stop taking h gaffs but must show the country his heart about why it is soic important to turn the economy around for every day americans he did some in the speechrl tonight and he needs to do moreh the and the firing, the question of using firing hurt him in this
election? >>nd hard to know. i think the firing thing was media freak show overkill and outrageous, if knot surprising, that is some of his opponentsok would use it, but bookending around that, he talked at length and anecdote he thought would be charming about how to deal withg the dividing of his inheritance between his fortune and his inheritance between his sons and grandchildren, he talked in defending the fire remark, he defended how he doesn't think about other people, he only thinks about himself in puc talg on the campaign trail. he made other statements he talk about getting pink slips, worried about getting a pink slip and made other statements which i am not saying they are e reflection of his heart but poison not just to sound bites but as a test of his ability to communicate his empathy andam concern for working class americans. >> rose: al, can this super pac film about bain capital and
the amount of money some of the super pacs may be willing to d spend in south carolina damagehi him? >> yeah. i saw the film this afternoon. actually, charlie. josh bloomberg of business week got a copy of it and there are parts of it that are quite flawed and some that are enormously exa exaggerated and e that are powerful and i think the reason it has the potential to hurt mitt romney because it plays into some of what mark was just talking about. the fact p is he doesn't have te common touch, he doesn'tas understand most working class people, because he hasn't spent any time around them. i agree with mark, about theu' context of that comment about being fired was totallyen distorted and taken out of context but when mitt romneyw says i know what it is hike to face a pink slip, no one believes that, he was the son of a ceo of american motors, he grew up with privilege he is non the first one to run for president, franklin roosevelt,ha jack kennedy but he totally lacks that common touch, and i think he is going to get himselt in some trouble if he tries to pretend he is something that he is not. l >> rose: so what will thee
contest be like in south carolina the next stop? >> mean and ugly. it will really be vicious. >> rose: gingrich is operating out of vengeance now? >> he is an angry man with money, you know, that is kind of like being, you know, an angry country with nuclear weapons. i don't think newt gingrich will last very long but i think he will try to make a mark while he is at it. i think he is angry and he has got these people who are ginning him up and he is giving up anyns notion of being romney's running mate or defense secretary and rick perry, i don't know how much his super pac will raise but whatever they have they are willing to spend against mitt romney. >> rose: that can romney do, then, mark,? does he simply have to continue to prevail and at some point there will be no opposition and people will begin to look at him and consider his electability and fall in love with him?
>> well, first of all, al, as al referred to earlier he is very lucky here because this setting up with harry in south carolina, gingrich and santorum going, none of them particularly strong. there is going to be a moment, it might come as early as tomorrow morning where conservatives who don't liket romney will say this is it nowt we are out of time and must stop him in south carolina but it is not clear who they would coalesce around, all three havec different strength, none of them have made it clear by their performance in the two contests so far they clearly would be able to take on romney and alln of them think that eventually if one of them survived one on one against romney they couldy, prevail. it is a little bit of ath prisoner's dilemma but nothing anybody can do i think to get any of them out. it might be very negative and there is money to spend i think there is a decent chance that by the end of this week some leading republicans who haveal stayed on the side lines and haven't endorsed, congressional leaders, some governors, maybe some party elders may well come out and say this is a fool's
errand romney is going to be our nominee and they personally appeal privately and publicly to the other candidates, don't go on a kamikaze mission to try to destroy mitt romney, he is going to be our nominee and i think it is possible that the normal rules of south carolina won't prevail. >> rose: a number of candidates, ron paul came in second. what does he do now? >> s >> he will be in tampa with probably several hundred delegates, he is a far more formidable figure than he was four years ago, he may be just as cranky and four years older but he has got a fervent following that is the most eclectic group of people i havee ever seen in my life. there are some who are well to the right of the most conservative person you can name, in america and some who are well to the left.en if went to a rally charlie, i n don't think i mentioned this the other night in nashua where held talked about the nationa defense organization act, the crowd went wild, everybody in the crowd knew what was in it. and he is not going to go away.
those who think they can pat him on the head and just say we will put in something about the federal platform in the platform and get rid of him arey misleading themselves, i don't think the romney people think m that, i think the romney people played it smart you haven'tut heard much criticism of paul and i think they will try to reach out to the extent them. >ey can. >> rose: what about john huntsman, mark? >> they said this evening he is going forward and it is to romney's benefit in the sense it will likely divide up the vote a little bit more, huntsman, more of his vote in south carolina than some of the others could in certain categories of voters, but it is very difficult to see how he can -- how he can dos better in south carolina than he did here the, this is a state he camped out in, this is a state where independents can vote and he has the kind of profile and demeanor that would have been very stronger here in other states that's why they chose itr to make their stand. i think he probably will go forward but probably the least likely to be able to survive south carolina and the others. >> rose: how powerful in the
republican party now is the electability argument? >> very powerful, and it is one of the things that romney has done, not just explicitly saying look at the polls but doing what barack obama did in 2008 which is talking with the general election message, even during the nomination fight and building a campaign as i said at the beginning far superior to anyone else. so psi indicated voters as again happened with obama, i think look at that and say this guyto can build something of scale, this is someone who we can send into battle with an incumbent president and have a chance to win. > yes i think i had this figurean right about 55 or 56 percent of the new hampshire voters today said that mitt romney was the most -- >> rose: that's why i rephrased the question. >> and that group went overwhelmingly for romney. the one bit of -- you know, a littlet bit of disquiet you lok to the exit polls and you can exaggerate the import to be sure. this is a state with a
huge independent vote. mitt romney did not do tear my well with that vote. he actually ran behind ron paul among independents, just a little bit ahead of john huntsman if i was the romney people that is a slight danger sign, because in the fall, to win the state which they plan to, they will have to do well among the independent voters. >> rose: independent voters went for obama in new hampshire in late deciding voters with went for obama in new hampshire we are. >> we are talking about romney? >> i'm sorry, romney. >> independent voters wenth slightly, according to the exit polls, went slightly for ron paul, and romney was second and huntsman a close third. the late deciders i think, man, broke fairly even. john sununu thought the lateth breakers would go for huntsman they didn't really which is why huntsman finished a decent third but instead of competitive with ron paul for second. >> rose: so where will the
romney campaign go, mark, in terms of how they see their imperative, what they see theyñr need to do this is it simply to win, to win south carolina and to come out unscathed so they can go on to florida and perhaps wrap it up? >> well, that is a big part of it coming out unscathed in south carolina. i think they are going to go too florida as early has the end ofk this week and start doing events there. and they can start pivoting now, pretty confidently toward a a general election strategy in th. sense of doing more of a general election message, not like the old days pregoogle and youtube and transform yourself plenty there is plenty of romney rhetoric he can appeal to more p independents under less pressure from the right wing of the party and i think you will see him in these states start to think about what woul what would my infrastructure be in the general election what can i do to reach out to people? they are veryat good in terms of being awo campaign that does the first rule of a campaign, worry about
what you can control, don't't worry about what you can't control. they can't really control verynk directly whether other people go forward and how meg they are bup i think you will see them really start to think about how do we plan the next few weeks, the next few month put them in a stronger position to match up with the president. >> i agree. that speech tonight, that speech tonight was a general election speech. and he also read it from a teleprompter. which i think was a real sign -- a lot of republicans would love to chide barack obama for using a teleprompter, i think in a lot of important speeches in the future you are going to see mitt romney with a teleprompter.te >> rose: can he, al, mark has talked about this idea, i think that this, you know, he needs to huh ma'amize himself, he needss. to make an emotional connection with voters. is that a skill you can acquire if it is not in your dna? >> boy, it is hard. those who have it, those whoit really not it, ronald reagan, bill clinton it was instinctive and there and it was real. it is awful hard to make that up, and i don't think mitt
romney has a common touch. his wife actually, i think doesi have a common touch but i don't think he does, and i don't think you can invent it and i think if i were advising him, which i obviously am not nor ever asked for my advice, i would say don't fake it, be who you are and dance with the girl you brung do you think barack obama has the common touch, al? >> i don't think he has a common touch the way a roosevelt or a clinton or a reagan did. i think he is better than romney on that. >> rose: mark? >> compare the two. >> better than romney. >> he is better than ronald any. if the election about who is more likable if you look at recent history, the more likable candidate won in the tv e.r.a. romney can't win, every time the democratic party takes some romney quote about he is out of touch the romney campaign is going to say, what is thewh unemployment rate? what is thei moment mortgage foreclosure raty
and try to keep it less about personality and more about the president's record and that contest now unless something tra dramatic happens will happen over a very long general election where romney will have plenty of time to make mistakes and the economy will have some time to improve, perhaps and the romney campaign will have a lotl of time to take their veryo skilled skillful candidate and skillful research department and try to flesh out not mitt romney's personality butm]nhuman the economy during the time the president has been in office.it >> rose: many people say thisin election will depend on whether it is a referendum on presidente obama or whether it is a referendum on bain capital. do you see it that way, both of you? >> it won't be aq referendum on bain capital. it will be a referendum on the economy as it always is and on whether things are so bad thatch they will take a chanceor replacing the incumbent with someone that they don't really feel that empathetic with or close to but they just need change, and romney, in that
sense, has to hope for two things, one he can never say't which is that the economy doesn't continue to improve and doesn't get to an eight percent unemployment rate, and the other is, people will say, hey, he is not, you know, you may not want to have a beer with mitt romneye but he knows something about the economy. >> rose: and go ahead, mark. >> i will be a little optimistic, i think thee conventional wisdom is that the romney -- the obama campaign wants to make it about mitt romney's being out of do you have and his record at bain and mitt romney wants to make it about the president's economic record over the last three years or so. i think it is possible that this will be an election about each f of their ideas for the future.s they have different visions of what the federal government's role should be, there are some differents on foreign policy and i think there is a chance, given the kind of gentlemen they both are, and i mean that gentlemenhe in two senses, i think there iso a chance that it will not beel about any of the things that people currently believe it will be about. >> rose: so it may very well be about what historians and political sciences have long wanted it to be, c, is a real
debate about the role o government in american public life? >> i think there is a decent chance of that, i may be being too optimistic and certainlyyo other discussions along the lines i have talk about but i think you will see a lot ofa major policy speeches by mitt romney and a lot of aggressive pushback by the white house ando say what is the vision of what the, as you said the role of federal government should be both at home and abroad. >> rose: you said romney is a much better candidate in 2012 than in 2008. what did he do to get better? >> well, what he would tell you he did is write this book that he wrote, which he said, saudi really clarified his thinking about what was important. he felt four years ago he got so caught up in the tactics and the strategy decisions about a campaign that he wasn't able to talk about what he really believes in. that speech that he gave after winning the primary here was strong for a lot ofe reasons, bt part of why it was strong and this is when president obama is at his strongest i think is in
order, he believed every word of it, he believed it and felt it and think it is important and that is one way he it is a lot better he is not giving speechee about tactics but what he believes in and that makes him stronger, on the other side, he is writing for the magazine thif week, he is stronger in terms of taking opposition research, taking facts about an opponent and presenting them in a debate and in interviews as effectively as any candidate i have seen in my career.et he is very good at that now, and much better than he c was fourab years ago. >>im rose: that says a lot about him. al, you and i both know that this idea of who is the most optimistic has always been a powerful element of american politics. if it is romney versus obama who is the most optimistic? >> well, i don't think obama is going to accept the romney characterization of him and imy think that will be part of the dialogue over the next nine or ten month. charlie, here is what is really interesting though as they getre into that debate.an these two men who couldn't be
more different in one way, romney born,f a white mormon bon to privilege, a silver spoon in his mouth versus a man who had b black father from africa and a white mother from kansas and grew up under quite different circumstances, and yet in a lot of ways they are very similar. they are both incredibly bright, they are both great policy wants and both very discipline and they both really are decent human beings without a real hint of scandal and they both reallyi don't like dealing with other, politicians a whole lot. they really don't -- that is noa their bag.fo so it is really remarkable to me these totally different men who have different outlooks on what government should do and about american society have so manys similarities and approach. >> rose: i look forward to it this is going to be a rrkable campaign, especially if it turns out that governor romney gets this nomination, much improved candidate, remembering what you had just said, is a remarkable opportunity for those of us whof love politics to witness the kind of debate about america's future that we would like to see. thank you very much, guys.
mark halperin. >> the president is still the favorite, charlie. >> rose: al, do you believe that too. >> 51 to 49. i yeah, that's what i would say right now in terms of odds, boy, that means that is a thin read right now. >> rose: thank you both,> rose: thank you, guys, very much. have i been sent van disbee seminal anything the history of art and in a career that spannep
ten years he produced paintings that are recognized around thee world for their vibrant colors and dramatic brush s strokes, te night cafe, the olive tree, the star i are night, these are just some of his best known works, in a new biography steven and gregory white smith be the man behind the art, chronicle his childhood in the netherlands, his stint in a psychiatric hospital. and his book is van gogh the life, i am pleased to have them back at this table, so welcome. great to see you. >> we talked earlier about yourg earlier book which congratulations won a pulitizer> prize, thank you very much. >> how did you come to the story of van gogh? >> we got -- we won a pulitizer prize and the obvious question was, from us and our publisher what is next? what do you do d next? and we decided that we would -- there were all sorts of considerations liked the artist had to have a work that impacted the world, that made a i difference, and had to have an
interesting life, it is surprised how much great art was created by artists who had a boring life and something thata hadn't been done before so we drum this criteria and then we said forget all of that. who do we really want to write a biography of? who do we reallys love? and that answer was easy. vincent van gogh. >> rose: then what do you do? challenge that you are two americans that don't speak dutch, and so much of the primary sources and even the secondary sources are all in dutch, and we imagined ourselvee showing up at the van gogh museum presented with the ambition to write the big book on van gogh and them looking at us the way the library of congress would look at two dutch men who didn't speak a word of english showing up asking to write the definitive biography of abraham lincoln but luckily the dutch were incredibly welcoming the museum was, let us
see everything, all the family letters that had never really been fully used before. >> rose: that is amazing to me because obviously this is an extraordinary, one of the great painters and it has not been in the book. >> that was the biggest question in our mind was, how could this not have been done before? there are 600 books in englishmi on van gogh alone, aside from all of the other books on vaner gogh in his circle and whatever, how could no one have done the big biography and in fact, actually we spoke to a very important curator, major museum who has done a lot of books on van gogh and we said, why were you so nice to us? we had no previous credentials in van do we, only in pollock, and she said, well, you have no idea, we all knew, what a big of a task this would be, we knew what you would have to cross to do thisve book and none of us wanted to do that so it took someone naive and ignorant enough of the scale
of the project to be willing toi untake in, undertake this vast enter fries. >> rose: how long. did it take? >> ten full years with a whole lot of help.è >> rose: you -- so you unlock some very interesting questions about van gogh, which we willg discuss and i should say that my colleague on 60 minutes did a, morley safer did a wonderful two part piece about this, and you went back to the town in france and explored this in a really wonderful way. so you set out to tell the story knowing, noth, knowing it would be ten years but knowing you had a lot of work ahead of you. >> yes. huge, a huge task. and we tried to approach everything afresh, because one of the biggest challenges was everybody knew who van gogh was, everybody loved the art, people knew the images they could name as you just did, name the key images, and they knew that he had cut off his ear, part of his ear, and they felt they knew he had committed suicide so there
was kind of a luster to his life in 1936 and this the movie in 56, there was a kind of a known figure out there that everybody felt,t oh i know van gogh. >> rose: the movie. >> yes. the movie. so we had to sort of, we had to start looking at that image and mythology and start saying, welf how much of this is based onh truth and how much of it is just convenient hollywood projection. >> let's talk about hisli childhood first, what was it like and why was he late coming to art? >> well, he was -- everybody in his circle and family considered him a strange child. he was alienated, he was angry, he was, he was miscreant, he was, you know, he was contrary, he couldn't stay in school, even though he is very smart, and spoke four languages well, so he
got, he got something out of school but constantly being thrown out and having his earsy boxed and running off and just taking a walk rather than going to school. >> in fact, he was supposed to ierit the family business because his uncle also namedng vincent van gogh was the number one art dealer in holland and he merged with the number one gallery in france, so he was one of the leading art dealers in the whole world and he had no children, and so the eldest sob, the uncle didn't, so he wanted his beloved brother, brother's eldest son also named venue sent to take over the family business. he in pose, vincent goes into the gallery at anal 16 and he keeps on getting demoted year after year, until a point where he is not only fired, but banished from ever stepping foot again in the family business. >> rose: he also tried time as a missionary. >> then he tried to be a missionary and his father because preach store he wanted to learn relis and spent a long
time trying to find a place inro religion. atly first it was as a missionay and then as a preacher and then it was as an he evangelist and then what they call a cat disney, and each of those is a step down he just kept failing .. even at that, cat disney is someone who reads poetry to children and he couldn't do that and he went to preach to thet. miners in the coal district in the belgium and they just laughed him out of the church. >> rose: so when do you mark the movement to art? when he focussed the south of france? >> he think he really turned to art first when he hit bottom, when he went to the coal miners and he finally just -- he couldn't -- knew he could not be a preacher and knew that he could not make his living directly in religion, but what he saw was, and this is through his brother's help, a sense that there was a way to have the same effect on people with his art that he would have had on them as an evangelist.
>> rose: he can provide consolation and comfort to people through paintings and that was the kind of preacher he wanted to be. he watched -- he watched, growing up he watched his father who was a preacher go out and help the peasants and the most miserable with some sort of heartening message, and -- >> he was not a fiery, a fire and brimstone guy, he was more of let me comfort you in the else of the world and comfort you from the ill evident, ineffortability of death, that is part of his work and all of his work went increasingly in that direction as he himself headed toward death.he >> when did he start to paint? >> at age 27, basically. it was a ten year career. one of the astonishing things is the number of paintings he produced. not only does the entire career last only ten years, but the paintings that we know him by, basically were pained in fourwe years and the great masterpiecep were painted in two years.
so you have to ask yourself, if he had lived 38 years or 39 years rather than only 37 how many more. >> rose:. >> he was trying them out, a painting a day, a painting a day. >> rose: 70 days he did 70 paintings? >> yes the last 70 days of his life he did 70 paintings, basically. >> masterpieces and many of them memorable masterpieces, center pieces of civilization. >> it did not go well. first of all, the sadness of his life knows no bounds, i mean, the people will be struck by just how miserable this life was, because he produced these huge -- these extraordinarily jawb atlanta, beautiful consoling images out of this deep well of sorrow that was his life. one of the reasons he was so sad was that he could make no relationships. he had a mental affliction and
with it came some personality characteristics that made it almost impossible to deal with him, to be around him for long, he was incredibly argumentative, and he was also smothering, so the minute, paul gogan shows up immediately he is writing letters to his friends back in paris saying, get me out of here, i have to get out of here immediately and he was only there because theo was paying him 150 franks. >> his brother. >> hav vincent's brother was pag him 150 franks a month to be there and the only --. to provide vincent sent some company. >> the only romantic relationship in vincent's life that lasted more than a few months was with the prostitute in the hague and literally paid her by the day. so the -- i think that gives you some sense of just how lonely, there were months at a time when the only human contact he had was with the waitress he ordered his dinner from in in the cafe
every day. >> rose: then there is the question of the asylum too. what did he -- what was the diagnosis when he was in the asylum. >> we actually think in the most of the main experts who have -- this is -- van gogh was is such an icon that he has been written about by dozens of psychiatrists, the weight of psychiatric opinion is that his own doctors had it right, that he had a form of epilepsy called temporal lobe epilepsy, and it is actually -- >> it just attacks a part of your brain that controls higher range functions. in particular, perception, memory, and the other kinds of functions that control your sense of identity. so what it does is it immediately undermines your sense of consciousness, of who you are, so when you have a seizure, a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure you lose track of who you are.
you are sort of -- your consciousness and the reality gets separated, and you see yourself projected into other people. you see things -- you do things, you move this paper on the table, but you think somebody else did it. you are not aware you did it. so you are sort of cause and effect is lost. and just a big void opens up in your life. and then when it is over, you come out of it and you can't remember what happened, so there are these terrible voids that he would just talked about stepping into an abyss and then waking up on the other side, usually manacled to a bed in a hospital where, and one time, with his ear all bloodied and his head all bandaged because he cut off part of his ear. >> rose: he did because of the pain of the epilepsy? >> he did that because he was so disoriented in his epilepsy he saw in the mirror not himselfof but this terrible person who had alienated his brother and had driven paul gogan away from the yellow house and had to punish that person in the mirror and he
took out his razor and slashed off a part of his ear. >> rose: then there is a question of his death with situate the news you have made here. tell me the story and then i will switch to something that morley safer did in 60 minutes. >> well, early in the process, we begin to get the feeling that that there was something problematic request the story that was a key part of the mythology, the tragic artist goes out and paints his final canvas,g corn in the wheat fied which is ahmedation on death and decides to end it all by shooting himself, and there were a lots of problems that emerged early in the research, one of them being the report from the doctors showed that the trajectory, first of all, that he was shot in the abdomen, and fewer than two percent possess the people who shoot themselves to kill themselves do it there. it is a very long, painful death. >> it often doesn't work. and it was also in the doctor's report, the fun was held from a
bizarre angle and from quote unquote too far out. there was also the question of how did he get the gun? guns were very rare in rural france. who would have given this crazy dump man who had just come out of an insane asylum a gun? and there was no evidence, no one ever found the gun, and the painting that he supposedly painted, the crows in the wheat field as his last image, was actually painted at aboutes july 10th and he paint add whole series of happy paintings after that. a. and we also, by that time inw vincent pretty well, and we knew that he had .. railed against suicide. he said i would never commit suicide. he called it an act of normalad cowardice and he made they theo promise h he wouldn't commit suicide so we know it was inconsistent with his characterk >> rose: before we find out what you think happened i go now to morley safer, my colleague at 60 minutes for a wonderful piece
he did and he went to the south of france with the two of you to do it. here it is. >> inspired business his surroundings van gogh painted like a man possessed, turning out a picture a day.hu he painted the medieval church on the hill looking as though it is about to jump off the canvas. he patiented the town hall, for bass steel day, and just across the bay, the imn where he lived and took his meals. >> he ate here every day. his only social interaction in the day was ordering food which is really, incredibly sad. >> rose: all right. that t comes to also this question. happened? you think >> >> he didn't commit suicide? >> no. we think in every town he went to there were boys that made fun of him and it happened in ovair because he is weird and strangea he is a an outsider and had a weird accent and something to
do. someone came forward, he was a businessman and a banker, he was in his seventies and he said that he knew vincent van gogh well in that last summer, andu1 that he and his friends, his brother had taunted him and tormented him, and put salt in his tea and put snakes in his paint box,ñi and he admits it ws his gun, and there was a malfunctioning pistol that kind of went off when it felt like, is the way he put it and he usef it because he was wearing ae buffalo bill costume the previous year there had been ag big exposition in paris and the big event was buffalo bill and a lot of people bought buffalo bill costume so he was walking around with this crazy painter and go get him drunk an they were the only eyewitness was the person who saw vin iment go into one of the farm yards in ovair and not in the wheat field and heard the gunshot. the piece of evidence that sort of pulled it all together for us
was ant statement by john rewal, the greatest historian of impressionism and postimpressionism who was in france in the 1930s studying at the servan and go visit theville jerz in zero vary and just a fer years after vincent died and many were still there and the rumors he heard were quite specific, they were that vin ent had not killed himself that he had been shot accidentally by a couple of boys, and that vincent had decided to take the blame in order to save those boys fromro the terrible trouble it would have procured. >>vi in the interview in guy -- >> rose: if he did that he would have known people committed suicide which he railed against. >> well, he was willing to take the heat for having committed suicide in order to protect theh from a sense of investigation w and perhaps jail. h that was the story that had gone around, because he just didn't, he thought their innocence, it was an accident and he wanted to save them the trouble and he
felt at that point, that he sort of felt, well, maybe now is my time to die.n >> rose: finally there is this, john leighton, former g director of the van gogh museumg on this program talking about painting we have been talk about, wheat field with crow. here it is. wheat field with crows. >> this one for pets for a moment that idea that this could be one of his last pictures, and sees it against what we have been seeing throughout the exhibition. this wholee idea of nature as n ongoing cycle, i think you could turn it around to say this is actually a very positivehi picture, that it is a picture which is bursting with energy and life, which is filled with a vitality of the growing corn, and sure, yeah, you have this very dark sky, but i think in a way, if we think right back to the very first picture of the beach near the hague, you have that same sense of nature as being a product five thing, that is where you make your living
from, that also the sense that at the same time, it could be overwhelming, and so it is a combination, this combination of joy and sorrow, what he talks about about, he talks about loneliness and sorrow, but at the same time, the very same time he talks about this conveys the forces of health and regeneration that i sunny the country side. >> rose: there it is. talking about some of the great works of vincent van gogh. we now look at a series of paintings, i want both of you to comment on this and begin with the first image. >> this is -- this was vincent's big effort to create a salon painting, a painting that can go to a great big exhibition where every artist tried to shows his best possible work. vincent worked on it for months. it showed vincent had difficulty drawing figures and one of the hardest things to come to terms with, even though he didn't have
the sort of technical facility that every art student was supposed to learn that he managed to leap over that and create a whole new way of drawing that was magical and inspiring and much more meaningful than simple technical accuracy, but it also rupp pictured, run pictured his only real friendship with pa dump artist named van ran part whoir didn't like the painting and theo himself told him it was crude and unsuccessful. >> this is in 1885 which is sort of in the middle of that very productive period, from 1880 to 1890 or not? >> it is in the middle of -- it was his entire career so it is before he goes to paris and before he sees the impressionist and he goes from a painting like that in the potato eaters to -- he tries to make it as dark as possible, he finally gets to hear paris and he finally realizes maybe theo has the right idea maybe some color would be useful. >> well, two things that are important about his life. one is that his parents hated
the fact that he socialized with the peasants. so every time he went to that cottage to paint, they -- it was an embarrassment to the family. secondly it was a time where his brother was just trying desperately to get him to paint impressionist paint tens and he said, this is what is his response and it shows you his rhetorical contrariness you want me to paint peasantsable? you want me to paint borj warks i will paint the darkest thing i can i can find and the least bourgeois. >> rose: don't put the images up until we call for them. okay? all right here is theay second. >> ah. this is a woman named august city naah, august city naah, .. even though he didn't have much of a romantic life other than the prostitutes he saw, she was actually a rather famous woman and the mistress of monet and
the mistress of caro, his greatest portrait of a woman is in the national gallery inng washington. this is the exactne person, she had a yes restaurant at this tin her life named the tambourine and she is sitting at a table that is in the form of a tambourine, and this is vincent desperate -- the thing he wanted to paint most in his entire, throughout his life, even though she famous for his flowers and landscapes was portraits because he wanted to connect to people. >> rose: especially women. >> especially women and this is one of his army attempts. >> rose: the next is self portrait as an artist, obviously one of the most -- >> yes. p again first of all, the people should know in paris, in particular for the first time, he did dozens of self portraits. and trying on all kinds of different new kinds of brush strokes, new kinds of color combinations and really trying f on new personalities. so in some of these self portraits, like this, he is the
artist, he has got a pallet, his brushes and all of the affects of an artist and others, he wears a bourgeois coat and a businessman, he is a dealer, and he is trying to be -- he is trying to set up this sort of enterprise with his brother, where he is both an artist and a dealer, and this is one that says this is me in my ar artist mode. >> the other is the cafe.>> look at this. >> ah, yes. this is a great example oft vincent trying to -- what he did and is famous for doing and what he achieved so mag any extently is use color to create emotion. this is a place that was opengn all night and a place that assorted all of the -- the people who got thrown out of the brothels, people who had no place to go home, the travellers who couldn't pay for a hotel d room, he sit and they would drink absinthe all night or play pool and he wanted to capture
that sense of homelessness, that sense of -- so he has got these sort of glaring lights and these deep shadows and everybody is side away from looking at him and the drunk guy leaning on the side of the table. and he conveyed that feeling by filling the paintings with contrasts, green and red, in particula which he thought of as contrasts that had a kind of a despairing quality to them and conveyed despairing feelings to the viewer. and you can see green, if you look closely you can see green and reds in the floor and in the background and this the bottles. he has green bottles next to a red labels and pink -- you seeba the sort of lime green bar in the back with the pink flowers on top. so he would create these multiple iterations all to convey the impression that, to convey the emotions he wanted tr convey.
>> next is van gogh's chair. >> these are the two chairs heco painted, we sometimes forgetha that he was -- he had kind of a victorian sensibility, and it is one of the reasons these paintings are so affecting, a famous british illustrator had commemorated theom death of charles dickens by making an engraving of dickens empty chai after he die. the chair rei don't all of his novels from. so here is vincent, creating twv portraits, one of himself in the yellow pine, sturdy chair, and one of gogan who is about readyh to leave and he conceived of m gogan as the more elegant, sort of feminine creature, and therefore, his chair thisa mahogany chair has all of these curves. >> this is after they had fallen out. >> these contrasts are part of the fact his recognizing that they were not getting along, so you have got this sturdy pine chair and then you have got this
linear chair and imposed on the curved linear chair some of the color contrasts that gogan rejected and you can see from the candle on gogan's chair on the right he doesn't expect him to come back. to is really -- and he later said i am painting his empty place. >> rose: and next one is? >> madam -- the women were money for their beauty and he desperately wanted to paint a lady, van gogh did but he couldn't -- he was so difficult, and so disturbing that he couldn't, and annoying he couldn't get one to come sit for him so finally when gogan comes, this woman comes and sits for them and -- but as you can see in the painting she is not looking at vincent but looking in the other direction, she is looking at gogan and gogan's version shows her face. and he was so proud of the fact that he made this entire painting in less than an hour,
while gogan was doing a drawing. it gives a sense of the fecundity of his imagination, of his brush, of his mind he could face this sort of seminalaw masterpieces of civilization in under 60 minutes. >> the next swawn portrait of josephe ruin. o >> van gogh, again, he had the pay for this. he couldn't get the models just to come in and sit for him andfo his stipend from theo was more money than he made as a postman and has a family so h he would come in and sit for him, but reulan is this larger bigger than life character and he loved talkable about politics and he was -- he drank heavily and vincent is creating this portrait of this big, boisterous, hearty self confident person and he does it with this mag any extent background of all of those
beautiful flowers, against that -- it is a masterpiece. >> rose: okay. the next one is historian ite. >> it is really amazing the power of that painting. this is -- this was in 1889. >> rose: 1889. and he was at the -- and he couldn't -- his paints were in a studio downstairs and he couldn't get at them after dark an he couldn't go outside after dark so he had to paint this by making sketches through his window, he looked through his window in his cell and would make sketches or just have ideas, which don't really know, and when the next day he would go and he would paint the actual image. so this isn't painted from life. so i think one of the reasons it is as free as it is is that it is really more about the idea of a star i are night in his head, which he had wanted for almost his entire career as a painter
to paint a star i are night. because he himself, we know this from his letters, even before he was a painter he took tremendous solace in a star i are night so he wanted to capture that solace, that sort of sense of god, of sending us these consoling images, and lights in the darkness, and light in the darkness was a profoundly important motion for him. it was a sign that there was something beyond the suffering of the now, the loneliness he felt, that there was a light that he was going toward, and he used to look at the sky at night and think about the worlds thato were out there, and could heul travel to them? and would they be worlds in which painters were appreciated, unlike this world. and so this is a painting filled with fantasies of what lifewh could be if he lived in a
different world. >> rose: the next one, also inju june, july, 1889, the oliveid tree. >> the olive trees. they were right outside of the asylum, this olive grover and hundreds of thousands of people go the see them every year, because vincent is such an iconic figure they go to histh grave and what is sunny here is the level of liberation he hass achieved with his brush. i mean t, i mean the clouds, if you look at those clouds, they are so abstract, so abstract, the hills --ev >> >> i even though he never -- one of the questions you have, as he you imagine him dying at this young age he was so close to complete abercrombie & fitch extraction in a painting like this. if he lived another few yearsim would this incredibleo imagination and ability to extract from nature, would think have turned to complete abstract. >> rose: indeed.th >> and of course one last thing,
the olive groves had a huge burden, religious significance for him. christ in the garden of old lives. so when he painted one of theset themes he was thinking religion and thinking christ f and again thinking consolation. >> rose: fine think one more time, wheat field with crows, july, 1890. >> well i was actually very interested by john leighton's comment, actually i agree with it. i think it is incredibly --fi because of the myth, it fits so nicely into the myth that vincent -- that this was his last painting and therefore it is ahmedation on death. i think leighton is right it is really much more representative of the absolute core of van gogh which is sorrowful but always rejoicing. his favorite passage from the bible in which hive is a combination of sorrow, but out c of that sorrow comes great joy, i thinksc leighton's description of this painting is right on.
>> and people talk about how he used to flee to the country, he found consolation in the country but also found loneliness in the country so he did have this ver conflicted attitude about the country. whenever he moved to the countri he lodged for the companionshipd of the city, and then when he moved no the city, and he couldn't find any friends think lodged, he lodged for the consolation of the country side so constantly bouncing back andt forth between the two so this captures both the loneliness, sort of that infinite horizon, o and the fact that there is nomu one there. >> rose: thank you very much. it is great to see both of you. congratulations. >> thank you. thank you so much. t