Vincent Van Gogh

Most famous Artist who’s paintings are still considered as Most Famous Paintings in History

Who was Vincent Van Gogh?

Vincent van Gogh was a post-Impressionist painter whose work — prominent for its excellence, feeling, and shading — profoundly affected twentieth-century craftsmanship. He battled with psychological sickness and stayed poor and virtually unknown in his whole life.

Early Life and Family

Van Gogh was born on 30th March 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. His father’s name was Mr. Theodorus van, Gogh. Mr. Theodorus was an austere country minister. His mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was a moody artist and her love of nature, drawing and watercolors were transferred to her son(Vincent Van Gogh).

Van Gogh was born a year after his parents’ first child, also named Vincent, was stillborn.

Van Gogh was the eldest of six living children of his parents. He had two younger brothers( Theo and Cor) and three sisters (Anna, Elizabeth, and Willemien).

Theo worked as an art dealer and supported Vincent’s art and played an important role in Vincent’s life.

When Vincent Van Gogh was 15 years old when his family was struggling financially, and he was forced to leave school and go to work. He was doing a job at his Uncle Cornelis’ art dealership, Goupil & Cie. ‘Goupil & Cie’ was a firm of art dealers in The Hague. That time Van Gogh was can speak fluently in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch.

Van Gogh was transferred to the Goupil Gallery in London in June of 1873. He fell in love with English culture there. He used to visit many art galleries in his spare time, and also became a fan of the writings of Charles Dickens and George Eliot.

He also fell in love with Eugenie Loyer. Eugenie Loyer was Vincent Van Gogh’s landlady’s daughter. When the lady(Eugenie) rejected his marriage proposal, van Gogh suffered a breakdown. Then he threw away all his books except the Bible and devoted his life to God. He became angry with people at work, telling customers not to buy the “worthless art,”.For his behavior, he was eventually fired.

Life as a Preacher

Van Gogh then started teaching job in a Methodist boys’ school, and also preached to the congregation. Although he was raised in a religious family and it wasn’t until this time that he seriously began to consider devoting his life to the church

Expecting to become a minister, Van Gogh prepared himself to take the entrance exam to the School of Theology in Amsterdam. A year after studying diligently, he refused to give the Latin exams. He told that Latin a “dead language” of poor people, and was subsequently denied entrance.

The same incident happened at the Church of Belgium. In 1878, Van Gogh volunteered to move to an impoverished coal mine in the south of Belgium. It was a place where preachers were usually sent as punishment.

Van Gogh started preaching and ministering to the sick, and also drew pictures of the miners and their families, who called him “Christ of the Coal Mines.”

The evangelical committees were not as pleased so they disagreed with van Gogh’s lifestyle, which had begun to take on a tone of martyrdom. They did not renew van Gogh’s contract, and he was forced to find another occupation.

Finding Solace in Art

In 1880, Van Gogh decided to shift to Brussels and become an artist. He had no formal art training so his brother Theo offered to support van Gogh financially. 

He began taking lessons on his own, studying various books like Travaux des champs by Jean-François and others.

Van Gogh’s art made him emotionally balanced. In 1885, he started work on what is considered to be his first masterpiece, “Potato Eaters.” His brother, Theo, who by this time living in Paris, thought the painting  “Potato Eaters” would not be well-received in the French capital, where Impressionism had become the trend.

Though Van Gogh decided to shift to Paris, and went to Theo’s house .

In Paris, Van Gogh first saw Impressionist art, and he was inspired by that art. He started studying with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro, and others.

He and his friends posed for each other instead of hiring models because they want to save money.

His Love Live

He was attracted to women in trouble, thinking he would help them. When he fell in love with his recently widowed cousin, Kate. For that reason, Kate was repulsed and fled to her home in Amsterdam. 

Van Gogh then shifted to The Hague and there he fell in love with Clasina Maria Hoornik, an alcoholic prostitute. She became his companion, mistress, and model.

Van Gogh became utterly depressed when he saw Hoorkik went back to her prostitute profession. In 1882, his family was threatened to cut off his money unless he left Hoornik and The Hague.

Van Gogh left in mid-September of 1882 and travel to Drenthe, a somewhat desolate district in the Netherlands. There he lived a nomadic life, moving throughout the region while drawing and painting the landscape and its people.

Arles

Van Gogh was influenced by Japanese art and started studying Eastern philosophy to enhance his art and life. He wanted to travel there but was told by Toulouse-Lautrec that the light in the village of Arles was just like the light in Japan.

Van Gogh boarded a train to the south of France in February 1888. He stayed into a “yellow house” and spent his money on paint rather than food.

Paintings

Vincent van Gogh created approximately 2,100 works, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, and sketches. 

Some of his paintings now considered as the most expensive in the world such as “Irises” sold for a record $53.9 million, and his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” sold for $82.5 million.

A few of Van Gogh’s most well-known artworks include:

‘Starry Night’

‘Sunflowers’

Irises’

‘Self-Portrait’

The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen

This painting is also very popular and this Van Gogh’s painting stolen from a Dutch museum at around 3.15 am on 30th March in 2020.

It is really a shocking news.

Van Gogh’s sickness

In December 1888, Van Gogh became sick and strange as he was living on coffee, bread, and absinthe in Arles, France.

His psychological health also was declining. Around 1888, he sipped turpentine and ate paint.

His brother Theo was worried for him, and he offered Paul Gauguin money to go watch over Vincent in Arles.

Within a month, Van Gogh and Gauguin started arguing constantly, and one night, Gauguin walked out. Then Van Gogh followed him, but when Gauguin turned around, he saw that Van Gogh was holding a razor in his hand.

An Hour later, Van Gogh went to the local brothel and paid for a prostitute named Rachel. With heavily bleeding from his hand, he offered her his ear, asking her to “keep this object carefully.” 

The next morning police found Van Gogh in his room and admitted him to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital. Theo came on Christmas Day to see his brother because Van Gogh was weak from blood loss and having violent seizures. 

The doctors said Theo that his brother needed good care of, and then on January 7, 1889, Van Gogh was discharged from the hospital.

He became alone and depressed. He started painting but he could not find peace and was hospitalized again.

 He painted at the yellow house during the day and return to the hospital at night.

Asylum

People of Arles signed a petition and said that Van Gogh was dangerous then Van Gogh decided to move to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

He began painting in the hospital gardens on 8th May 1889. He was invited to exhibit his paintings in Brussels in November 1889. He sent six paintings there including “Irises” and “Starry Night”.

Death

On July 27, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh went out to make a painting in the morning. Then he was carrying a loaded pistol and shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He was found bleeding in his room. 

Van Gogh was distraught about his future because Theo told him about needing to be stricter with his finances. Van Gogh thought that Theo was no longer interested in selling his paintings. 

Van Gogh was admitted to a nearby hospital after a few days he asked Theo to take him home. 

Vincent van Gogh died in the arms of his brother Theo on 29th July 1890. He was only 37 years old then.

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