at the Amsterdam Van Gogh museum, iii.

At the Antwerp Academy of Art,
where Van Gogh studied for a time,
drawing skeletons was a common student exercise.

So one of Vincent’s paintings at his museum
is of an anatomically correct skull
on top of the upper torso
of an anatomically correct skeleton.

But clenched between the skull’s teeth
is a lit cigarette,
and my brother-in-law commented that it looked like a Dutch cigarette!

And there’s laughter in the grin of that skull.


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