His friend, P. C. Görlitz, writes this about a young Vincent:
"He was a singular man with a singular appearance into the bargain. He was well made, and had reddish hair which stood up on end; his face was homely and covered with freckles, but changed and brightened wonderfully when he warmed into enthusiasm, which happened often enough. Van Gogh provoked laughter repeatedly by his attitude and behaviour -- for everything he did and thought and felt, and his way of living, was different from that of others his age. At table he said lengthy prayers and ate like a penitent friar: for instance, he would not take meat, gravy, etc. And then his face had an abstracted expression -- pondering, deeply serious, melancholy. But when he laughed, he did so heartily and with gusto, and his whole face brightened."