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Despite the fact that nobody knew who he was until after he had passed away, Vincent van Gogh ended up becoming one of the most famous painters in history because to works such as "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers."
Who Was Vincent van Gogh and What Did He Do?
Vincent van Gogh was a post-Impressionist painter whose work had a significant impact on the art of the 20th century. His paintings are renowned for their beauty, passion, and use of color. His whole life was marked by struggles with mental illness, and he spent it living in abject poverty and relative obscurity.
Beginnings in Life and Family
On March 30, 1853, Vincent Willem van Gogh was born in the Dutch town of Groot-Zundert. Theodorus van Gogh, Van Gogh's father, was a strict rural pastor, while his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was a gloomy artist whose passion for the outdoors, painting, and watercolors was passed down to her son. Van Gogh was inspired to become an artist by his mother.
Van Gogh was born on the same same day that his parents' first son, also called Vincent, who was stillborn the previous year. Van Gogh had sad tendencies at an early age, even though his name and birthday were already engraved on the gravestone of his deceased brother.
Theo van Gogh
Van Gogh was the oldest of six surviving children; he had two younger brothers (Theo, who worked as an art dealer and supported his elder brother's painting), and three younger sisters. He was the oldest of the six living children (Anna, Elizabeth and Willemien).
Later on in life, Theo van Gogh would become a significant figure in his elder brother Vincent's life, serving as a confidant, a supporter, and an art dealer.
If there is one thing that can be said with absolute certainty, it is that Theo was Vincent's closest buddy. But in addition to those people, he also counted others as pals. During the time he spent in the Netherlands, he had a close relationship with fellow artist Anthon van Rappard, with whom he sometimes went painting together.
In Paris, he made the acquaintance of Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, and the three artists kept in touch with one another via frequent correspondence. They also traded paintings, which resulted in the creation of pieces that later became known as the "friend portraits."
The First Years of Life and Education
Van Gogh was obliged to drop out of school and find work when he was just 15 years old because his family was having trouble making ends meet. He was able to get employment at his uncle Cornelis' art store in The Hague, which is known by its French name, Goupil & Cie. At this point in his life, in addition to his native Dutch, van Gogh was also proficient in the French, German, and English languages.
The paintings of Vincent van Gogh were sent to the Groupil Gallery in London in June of 1873. There, he developed a deep appreciation for the English way of life. In his leisure time, he went to art galleries, and he also became a big lover of the works written by Charles Dickens and George Eliot.
In addition to this, he developed feelings for Eugenie Loyer, who was the daughter of his landlord. Van Gogh's mental health deteriorated when she turned down his proposal of marriage. He got rid of all of his books, with the exception of the Bible, and committed the rest of his life to serving God. He finally lost his job because he developed a hostile attitude among his coworkers and advised clients not to purchase the "worthless art."
The Preacher's Way of Life
After that, Van Gogh became a teacher at a Methodist boys' school and also began giving sermons to the local church. Even though he was brought up in a devout household, it wasn't until about this time that he started to give serious thought to committing the rest of his life to the church.
He studied hard in the hopes of passing the admission test for the School of Theology in Amsterdam so that he may one day become a pastor. After devoting a whole year to studying, he ultimately decided against taking the Latin tests, claiming that it was a "dead language" used by the poor, which led to his exclusion from the university.
The similar thing occurred at the Church of Belgium: During the winter of 1878, van Gogh volunteered to go to a poor coal mine in the south of Belgium. This was the kind of area preachers were often sent as a form of punishment. He tended to the sick, preached, and drew portraits of the coal miners and their families. The miners and their families came to refer to him as "Christ of the Coal Mines."
The evangelical committees did not share the same level of satisfaction. They disapproved of van Gogh's lifestyle, which had started to take on a martyrdom-like quality at that point. They did not want to continue van Gogh's employment, therefore they did not extend his contract, and he had to find another job.
Finding Solace through Creative Expression
In the late autumn of 1880, Vincent van Gogh made the decision to go to Brussels and pursue a career in painting there. Van Gogh's brother Theo promised to financially support his artistic endeavors, despite the fact that Theo had no professional art experience.
He started teaching himself on his own by reading works like Jean-Francois Millet's Travaux des champs and Charles Bargue's Cours de dessin.
The creation of art aided Vincent van Gogh in maintaining his emotional equilibrium. It was in the year 1885 that he started working on "Potato Eaters," which is widely regarded as his first masterpiece. Theo, who was residing in Paris at the time, had the opinion that the painting would not be well accepted in the capital of France, which had become an area where impressionism was the predominant style.
Despite this, van Gogh made the decision to go to Paris, and he showed up to Theo's residence without being invited. In March of 1886, Theo invited his brother into the little flat they shared together.
Van Gogh had his first exposure to Impressionist painting in Paris, where he was moved by the use of color and light in the works. He started his education under the tutelage of artists like as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Camille Pissarro, among others.
Instead of paying models, he and his pals took turns posing for each other in order to save money. Van Gogh was a passionate man, and because of this, he often disagreed with other artists about the merits of their paintings. As a result, he alienated others who became weary of his constant arguing.
Van Gogh's Love Life
Van Gogh's romantic life was fraught with peril since he was drawn to troubled women and mistakenly believed he could assist them. He had a string of unsatisfactory relationships. After he fell in love with his cousin Kate, who had just just been widowed, she was repelled by him and ran away to her home in Amsterdam.
Following this, Van Gogh relocated to The Hague, where he met and fell in love with the drunken prostitute Clasina Maria Hoornik. She eventually became his partner as well as his model.
Van Gogh fell into a deep depression after learning that Hoornik had resumed her career as a prostitute. In the year 1882, his family warned him that they would stop giving him money if he did not leave Hoornik and go to The Hague.
Midway through September of that year, Van Gogh boarded a train bound for Drenthe, a region in the Netherlands known for its relative isolation. During the following month, he led a nomadic existence, traveling across the area while sketching and painting the scenery and the locals he encountered along the way.
The Place "Arles"
Van Gogh started to study Eastern philosophy in order to improve his painting as well as his life after being affected by the art of Japan. He had a fantasy of going there, but Toulouse-Lautrec dissuaded him from doing so by telling him that the light in the hamlet of Arles was almost identical to the light in Japan.
In February of the same year, 1888, van Gogh traveled to the south of France by way of railway. After relocating, he settled inside the now-famous "yellow home" and prioritized spending his money on paint above eating.
More than 2,100 works were produced by Vincent van Gogh throughout his lifetime. These included more than 1,300 drawings, watercolors, and sketches in addition to 860 oil paintings.
The sale of his painting "Irises" set a new record at $53.9 million, while the sale of his "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" brought in $82.5 million. Several of his other works now rank among the most expensive paintings in the world. The following are some of the most well-known examples of van Gogh's artistic output:
In 1889, the year before he passed away, Van Gogh created "The Starry Night" when he was a patient at the institution in Saint-Rémy, France. The painting was completed in 1889. "This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before dawn, with nothing except the morning star, which appeared quite enormous," he wrote to his brother Theo in a letter. "This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before daybreak."
The oil painting on canvas depicts an expressive swirling night sky and a sleeping village, with a large flame-like cypress that is thought to represent the bridge between life and death looming in the foreground of the painting. The painting is a combination of the artist's imagination, memory, emotion, and observation. The picture may be shown in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which is located in New York State.
Van Gogh produced two series of sunflowers in Arles, France. The first series was painted between August and September 1888, while the second series was painted in January 1889. Art historians argue about whether copies and reproductions are more accurate.
The oil paintings on canvas, which feature golden sunflowers that have begun to wilt and are presented in a vase, are now on exhibition in museums in London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Munich, and Philadelphia.
Van Gogh started painting irises in 1889, the year after he checked himself into an institution in Saint-Rémy, France. He drew inspiration from the plants and flowers that grew in the grounds of the asylum. The picture is said to have been inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, according to the critics.
Octave Mirbeau, a French critic who was an early admirer of Van Gogh, was the initial owner of the picture and made the following observation about the artist: "How well he has realized the delicate beauty of flowers!"
Van Gogh produced more than 43 paintings and sketches of himself as a self-portrait over the period of a decade. He did this in both mediums. In a letter to his sister, he said, "I am seeking for a deeper resemblance than that acquired by a camera." [Citation needed]
"It is something that people claim is difficult to do, and I am ready to accept that it is the case. But painting oneself is also a difficult task to do. In a letter that he would write to his brother in the future, Rembrandt described the portraits that he had painted as being "more like a revelation" than a glimpse of nature.
The self-portraits that Van Gogh painted are currently on exhibit at museums all around the globe, including in cities such as Washington, District of Columbia, Paris, New York, and Amsterdam.
The Ear of Van Gogh
In December of 1888, when van Gogh was living in Arles, France, on a diet of coffee, bread, and absinthe, he began to experience feelings of sickness and strangeness.
After a short period of time, it became abundantly clear that not only was he suffering from a medical disease, but also that his mental health was deteriorating. Around this period, it is said that he drank turpentine and ate paint. This behavior is not uncommon for him.
Because his brother Theo was concerned, he gave Paul Gauguin money to go to Arles and keep an eye on Vincent while he was there. Within a month, van Gogh and Gauguin were continually squabbling, and one night, Gauguin walked out of the room they were sharing together. Van Gogh had been following him, and as Gauguin turned around, he spotted van Gogh holding a razor in his hand. Van Gogh had been following Gauguin.
After a few hours, van Gogh went to the local brothel and paid for a woman called Rachel to be his prostitute. Blood was gushing from his fingers as he presented her his ear and asked her to "keep this thing carefully." He was bleeding profusely.
The next morning, when the police arrived, they discovered van Gogh asleep in his chamber, and they took him to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital. Van Gogh was frail due to blood loss, and Theo came on Christmas Day to visit him. van Gogh was suffering terrible convulsions at the time.
Van Gogh was discharged from the hospital on January 7, 1889, after the attending physicians had given Theo's brother the reassurance that his brother would survive and that he would get proper treatment.
Despite this, he continued to be lonely and miserable. He sought solace in art and the natural world, but he was unable to achieve inner calm and was readmitted to the hospital. During the day, he would paint at the yellow home, and then he would go back to the hospital in the evening.
After residents of Arles signed a petition claiming that he posed a threat to the community, Vincent van Gogh made the decision to go to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
On the 8th of May, 1889, he started painting in the grounds of the hospital. In November of 1889, he was given the opportunity to display his paintings in a gallery in Brussels. He sent a total of six works of art, two of which were titled "Irises" and "Starry Night."
Theo and Johanna van Gogh gave birth to a son on January 31, 1890, and they called him Vincent Willem van Gogh after Theo's brother. Vincent Willem van Gogh was an artist. During this time period, Theo was able to sell van Gogh's painting "The Red Vineyards" for the sum of 400 francs.
Around the same period, Dr. Paul Gachet, who resided in Auvers, which is about 30 kilometers north of Paris, consented to treat Vincent van Gogh as a patient. Van Gogh relocated to Auvers and found a place to rent there.
Vincent van Gogh went out to paint early on the morning of July 27, 1890, while carrying a loaded handgun. While he was painting, van Gogh shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He was discovered gurgling blood in his chamber.
Van Gogh's brother Theo had visited him in May of that year and advised him that he needed to be more disciplined with his money. This conversation left Van Gogh feeling distressed and hopeless about the future. That was interpreted by Van Gogh to suggest that Theo was no longer interested in selling his artwork.
Van Gogh was transported to a neighboring hospital, where his medical team immediately called for Theo. When Theo got at the hospital, he discovered that his brother was awake in bed and smoking a pipe. After spending the following couple of days chatting with one another, van Gogh finally requested Theo to drive him back to his apartment.
Vincent van Gogh passed away on July 29, 1890, when his brother Theo held him in his arms. He was only 37 years old at the time.
Theo, who had been afflicted with syphilis and was made frail by his brother's passing, passed away in a Dutch institution six months after his brother died. After his death, he was laid to rest in Utrecht; however, in 1914, Theo's wife Johanna, who was a devoted patron of van Gogh's paintings, arranged to have Theo's remains moved to the cemetery in Auvers so that it would be buried close to Vincent.
Theo's wife Johanna started collecting as many of van Gogh's paintings as she could, but she soon found out that many of them had been ruined or lost. This was due to the fact that van Gogh's mother had thrown away boxes full of her son's artwork.
After 71 of van Gogh's paintings were shown in an exhibition in Paris on March 17, 1901, the artist's notoriety skyrocketed as a result of the event. His mother survived long enough to see her son's acclaim as a creative prodigy throughout his lifetime. It is generally agreed upon that Vincent van Gogh was one of the most talented painters in the annals of humankind.
Museum of Vincent van Gogh
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam first opened its doors to the public in 1973 with the purpose of making the works of Vincent van Gogh available to visitors. More than two hundred paintings, five hundred sketches, and seven hundred and fifty written materials, including letters to Vincent's brother Theo, are on display in the museum. Self-portraits, "The Potato Eaters," "The Bedroom," and "Sunflowers" may be found in this collection.
In September of 2013, the museum made a discovery and presented the public with a landscape painting by Vincent van Gogh named "Sunset at Montmajour." Before it was acquired by the Van Gogh Museum, the artwork was held by a Norwegian businessman who hid it away in his attic out of the mistaken belief that it was a fake Van Gogh painting.
It is thought that van Gogh painted the piece around 1888, barely two years before he passed away; this would have been around the same time that he completed his work "Sunflowers."
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