Vincent Van-Gogh (1853 – 1890)

An Amazing Artist

 

 

 

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter, who became one of the most famous and influential people in Western Art history only after he died.  While he lived, he was extremely poor, had a difficult life , suffered from severe mental health problems and often lived in poverty. In a decade, he produced about 2,100 pieces of art, including over 800 oil paintings!

His creations included landscapes, still lives, portraits and self-portraits and they are characterised by bold colours, thick paint and strong brushstrokes.

As a child, he enjoyed drawing and was very serious, quiet and thoughtful. He started working as an art dealer and travelled a lot, but he didn’t enjoy it and became quite unhappy. He tried, living a religious life in Belgium, but this didn’t suit him either and eventually he moved back home and began to paint around 1881. This was not a profitable life and his younger brother, Theo, supported him financially.

In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met many other artists and developed his own style and approach. By 1888, he had moved to Arles, in the South of France and it was during this time that he painted some of the paintings that are now amongst his most famous, including sunflowers and wheat fields.

Van Gogh didn’t look after himself well: he drank too much and didn’t eat properly so his physical health suffered and his poor mental health caused him to have long periods of time where he felt lost, alone and confused. On 27th July 1890,  he died from a  self inflicted gun shot wound to  the chest. 

Although he was considered a madman and a failure when he lived, he is now thought of as an incredible artist and his paintings are amongst the world’s most expensive. He is honoured by a museum in his name,  The Van Gogh Museum, in Amsterdam, which holds the largest collection of his works.