Vincent Van Gogh

Although he is almost unknown during his brief lifetime, Vincent Willem van
Gogh, was born Mar. 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands and is today
probably the most known and appreciated representative of art. His work became
an important bridge between the 19th and 20th centuries; and it was particularly
influential . Van Gogh clearly showed artistic talent even as a child, but
neither he or his family imagined that painting would become his career. Instead,
at the age of 16, he went to work for Goupil and Company, an art gallery with
which one of his uncles had long been associated with; he was dismissed in 1876.
Other false starts included a job in a Dordrecht bookstore during the spring of
1877, theological studies at the University of Amsterdam, and from November 1878
to July 1879, service as a lay missionary in a coal-mining district in Belgium.
In 1880, Vincent chose art as a vocation and became dependent on his brother
for cash. Indeed, for the next 10 years Theo, who had also gone to work for
Goupil, sent an allowance to Vincent, encouraged him to work, and wrote
regularly. Vincent\'s thinking during his short career (approximately 750
paintings, 1,600 drawings, 9 lithographs, and 1 etching) was documented in more
than 700 letters that he wrote to Theo and others.
Van Gogh\'s early years includes all his work from 1879 through 1885. Between
August 1879 and November 1885 he worked in Etten, The Hague--where he received
some instruction from his cousin, Anton Mauve and in Nuenen, among other places.
In Nuenen he painted The Potato Eaters, his first important picture, which
underscores his lifelong interest in peasant subjects.
During the winter of 1885-86 Van Gogh studied at the academy in Antwerp, where
he was forced to draw from plaster casts and to adopt academic principles that
did not suit him. He moved to Paris, where he lived with Theo his brother. The
Paris period (March 1886-February 1888) is extremely important because it
enabled Vincent to see and to hear discussed work of virtually every major
artist there. Although van Gogh admired many. During these years van Gogh\'s
style shifted from the darker manner characteristic of his Nuenen period to a
postimpressionist style heavily influenced by divisionism . Van Gogh left Paris
and moved to Arles in February 1888. His mature work and many of his most
famous paintings date from the ensuing year. In October 1888, Paul Gauguin came
to live and work with van Gogh. After only 2 months, however, following the
first of Vincent\'s attacks of dementia, he punished himself for trying to stab a
close friend Gauguin in which he amputated his own earlobe, Gauguin left, having
first summoned Theo from Paris. Thereafter, Vincent was hospitalized until the
spring of 1890; he was voluntarily confined in the Asylum of Saint-Paul in
Saint-Remy from May 1889 until May 1890. He continued to paint, however, and in
June 1889 executed the Starry Night and the extraordinary Self-Portrait (Louvre).
In the three months following his release from the hospital in May 1890, at
the village of Auvers-sur-Oise outside of Paris, Vincent produced many great
pieces of work including the Portrait of Dr. Gachet ,Field under Thunderclouds,
and the famous Crows in the Wheatfields
Although Vincent had finally begun to receive critical praise, he shot himself
while he was in a mental hospital on July 27, 1890, and died two days later.
His grief-stricken brother died only six months after.

Category: Biographies