Writing to his sister Willemina from Provence, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 1890) offered a self-portrait in prose: My complexion has changed from green-greyish-pink to greyish-orange . . . and I am always very dusty, always more bristlingly loaded like a porcupine, with sticks, painter s easel, canvases and further merchandise. Only the green eyes have remained the same. Though he spent it in poverty and poor health, that first summer in the south of France may have been the happiest period in a life often disrupted by anxiety and disappointment. Each month s painting in this calendar is accompanied by an apt passage from Van Gogh s letters.