Vincent Van Gogh Anna Bright

Early Life

Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 at Groot-Zundert in the Province of Brabant, Holland.

Van Gogh had five siblings. His older brother, also named Vincent van Gogh, was born a year before him, but passed away during child birth...

In 1880, van Gogh attempted to follow his father's path and become a preacher, but it did not work out. He lived in Belgium and sketched local miners and peasants, so he decided to mainly focus on art. In October of 1880, he attended art school in Brussels, where he studied the basics of perspective and anatomy. From April to December in 1881, he studied art at the academic art school at the Hague.

Sint-Lukas campus in Brussels. The school Van Gogh first attended for art.

Later In His Life

In 1888, van Gogh left for Arles in Southern France. During his fifteen months there, he painted over two-hundred paintings and even executed several self portraits.

Van Gogh’s health played a dramatic part in his life. Part of it, contributed to a woman he fell in love with named Eugenie Loyer, his landlady's daughter. When she rejected his marriage proposal, he suffered a breakdown.

On 1888, Paul Gauguin, another impressionist artist, and Van Gogh got into a fight. It was on Christmas Eve and Gauguin came to visit Gogh. Vincent Van Gogh was emotionally and physically exhausted, so he snapped under the strain. He threatened Paul Gauguin with a razor and so Paul left for Paris. Van Gogh was very angry and so he cut off his left earlobe. Hours later, he paid for a prostitute named Rachel and offered her his ear, asking her to “keep this object carefully."

A self portrait of Van Gogh.

Towards the End

In May 1889, Vincent Van Gogh checked himself into Saint Paul de Mausole, a mental hospital located in the town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence in Southern France. He stayed at the hospital for a year, during which he painted scenes of its gardens surrounding the countryside.

Van Gogh made a lot of art while he was there, but it changed drastically. Colors lost their intensity: yellows became coppers, and reds turned to brownish tones.

Vincent Van Gogh was drawn to objects under stress, such as in “The Starry Night”, which was painted in 1889, the whole world seems engulfed in circular movements.

"Starry Night" painted in 1889.

Spiraling Downwards

In 1890, Gogh left the mental asylum and traveled to Paris where a fellow artist, Camille Pissarro, recommended Gogh to visit Auvers to get the care of Dr. Paul Gachet.

Gogh arrived in Auvers on May 21, 1890.. At first, he felt relieved there, but towards the end of June, he experienced fits of temper and often fought with Gachet. This caused van Gogh to realize that his conditions would never truly go away.

On July 27, 1890, van Gogh went out to paint in the morning as usual, but he carried a loaded pistol. His feeling of worthlessness overwhelmed him and Gogh shot himself in the chest. The bullet did not kill him and he was found bleeding in his room. Vincent Van Gogh died at age thirty-seven, the morning of July 29, 1890.

“The Cornfield With Crows”. Van Gogh's last painting expresses a topsy-turvy world.

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