Vincent Willem van Gogh (March 30, 1853–July 29, 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.
Van Gogh: The Starry Night
Born into an upper-middle-class family, Vincent was a quiet, serious child who liked to draw.
Van Gogh: Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries
As a young man, he pursued his interest in art by working as an art dealer. After he was transferred to London, he fell in love with his landlady’s daughter, but his feelings were not returned. He succumbed to depression, and was ultimately released from his firm. (Click on smaller images to enlarge and reveal captions.)
Van Gogh: The Sower
Van Gogh: Wheat Field with Cypresses
He turned to his faith, and served as a missionary in southern Belgium. After that, he briefly held a series of jobs as a teacher, a minister’s assistant, and a bookstore clerk.
Van Gogh: Irises
Van Gogh: Sunflowers
He drifted in ill health and solitude before moving back home with his parents in 1881, where he took up painting. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two maintained a lively correspondence by letter. Vincent’s early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant laborers, contain few signs of the vivid color that distinguished his later work.
Van Gogh: Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds
Van Gogh: Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin
In 1886, van Gogh moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Paul Gauguin, whom he greatly admired. Vincent’s paintings grew brighter in color as he developed a style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. Van Gogh invited Gauguin to join him there and paint together. Their friendship was short-lived, and ended after an argument and a violent confrontation with a razor, when in a rage, Vincent severed part of his own left ear.
Van Gogh: Bedroom in Arles
Van Gogh: Van Gogh’s Chair
Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions. He neglected his physical health, did not eat properly, and drank heavily. His depression continued and on July 27, 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later. He was only 37 years old.
Van Gogh: Skull of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette
Van Gogh: Sorrowing Old Man (‘At Eternity’s Gate’)
In just over a decade, van Gogh created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His work was largely unappreciated during his lifetime. Today he is considered a creative genius.
Van Gogh: Wheatfield with Crows
Most of the information from this article came from Wikipedia.
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Van Gogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone
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