Vincent Van Gogh Biography
Vincent Van Gogh, born on March 30, 1853, is considered to be one of the greatest Dutch painters alongside Rembrandt. However, Van Gogh did not see any success while he was alive. He created around 2,000 pieces of artwork, which included 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. It was only a few years after this death, in 1901, that Van achieved fame and name.
Van Gogh was born in Zundert, The Netherlands. His father was a protestant minister. He had other siblings; one sister and one younger brother named Theo. Vincent and Theo were very close to one another.
Initially Van Gogh wanted to become a preacher like his father and spread the word of the gospel. He did not think that he would become a painter. He even spent some time preaching in the mining region in Belgium.
When Van Gogh was 16, he started working for a firm of art dealer in The Hague. In 1873, he was first transferred to London and then to Paris. However, Van Gogh was fired from the firm in 1876 due to lack of motivation. He then moved to England where he became a teaching assistant. In 1877, Van Gogh returned to The Netherlands to study theology at Amsterdam. However, he did not finish his studies. Instead he moved to Borinage, a mining region in Belgium, where he became a preacher. It was during this time, that Van Gogh started drawing. He would make charcoal sketches of the people from the local community.
It was Van Gogh's brother Theo, who suggested in 1880, that he take up painting. For a short while Vincent took painting lessons from Anton Mauve at The Hague. Vincent and Anton decided to part ways because they had different views on art.
In 1881, Vincent proposed to Kee Vos, his cousin who was a widow. However, she rejected his proposal. Later on, he moved in with a prostitute and also considered marrying her. However, both Van Gogh Senior and Theo were against this relationship.
Van Gogh was impressed by the painter Jean-Francois Millet, and concentrated on painting rural scenes and peasants. He first moved to Drenthe and then to Nuenen, both in The Netherlands. It was in Nuenen that Van Gogh started painting in earnest. This was in 1885.
From 1885 to 1886, Van Gogh attended the art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. However, he was dismissed from the academy a few months later. In the academy, Vincent was taken up by Japanese art as he liked the way Japanese artists used bright colors, the space of the canvas and the way the lines were used in the pictures.
In 1886, Van Gogh moved to Paris to live with his brother. Here he made acquaintance with other painters like Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. It was with these painters that Van Gogh found out about Impressionism.
However, by 1888, Van Gogh grew tired of the city life and moved to Arles. He like the local landscape so much that he decided to found an art colony here. He invited Paul Gauguin to come to Arles as both painters admired each other a lot. However, there was a problem between the two after Gauguin came to Arles, and it ended with the famous left ear cutting incident. Gauguin left Arles in December 1888, while Van Gogh was committed to an asylum after he cut off his ear.
In Mary 1890, Vincent Van Gogh left the asylum at Saint Remy, and went to Paris to meet with Dr. Paul Gachet, who had been recommended to him by Pissarro. However, Van Gogh's depression grew from bad to worse, and on July 27, 1890, he shot himself in the chest. Two days later he died with his younger brother by his side.
Van Gogh was laid to rest Auvers-sur-Oise cemetery. Theo was heart broken after his brother's demise, and 6 months later he too died. Theo was buried next to his brother.
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