Saturday, October 30, 2021

Vincent van Gogh: Dutch Post-Impressionist painter

Vincent William van Gogh was born in 1853 at Groot Zundert, a little village in the Dutch province of Brabant, not far from the border between Holland and Belgium. Deeply religious, he studied for the priesthood but never passed the entrance exam for theology school.

The van Gogh family had, for centuries, given men of note to Holland especially as clergymen and in commerce; in the nineteenth century several members of the family were art dealer.

At sixteen years old, Vincent began working as an assistant (1869-76) at the Hague Gallery of French Art Dealers, an international firm with their shops in The Hague, London and Paris. He traveled between London and Paris until he was fired from the gallery in 1876.

In May 1876, he becomes a teacher in a school at Ramsgate. In April 1881, he set off for Brussels to study art, where his family encouraged him to take painting lessons.

He settled in The Hague where he lived with his model Christien, a prostitute. She appears in the drawing Sorrow (1882) and Sien Posing (1883).

Van Gogh began studying painting with Anton Mauve in January 1882. Van Gogh studied for three months at the Academy in Antwerp in 1885- 86. He then traveled to Paris in order to be close to his brother and confidante, Theo. In Paris, Van Gogh was influenced by the light and color of the Impressionists as well as Japanese art.

Van Gogh’s burst of creativity between 1885 and 1890 was his most productive interval. Artistically, Van Gogh's time in The Hague is extremely important. He worked unceasingly and created his first paintings and lithographs.

Especially after moving to Paris in 1886, van Gogh produced one classic painting after another at a manic pace fueled by both absinthe and his growing mental instability – producing more than 200 painting in the two years after his move.

In 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles where he would begin the most productive period of his career. In approximately two years, he produced two hundred paintings and over a hundred drawings. During this time, he painted some of his most loved works, including Night Cafe, The Sower and Starry Night. His battle with mental illness was prominent and he experienced several breakdowns in Arles which resulted in voluntary and involuntary stays in mental asylums.

Van Gogh has been acknowledged as a pioneer of what came to be known as Expressionism and has had an enormous influence on 20th century art.

In May 1889, Vincent Van Gogh was sent to an asylum in Saint-Remy. During the time he spent in that mental hospital, Vincent painted one hundred and fifty paintings and produced hundreds of drawings, his art being his haven, an escape from his tragic and lonely reality. Vincent Van Gogh was truly lonely all his life and made many attempts at romance, however, all resulted in rejection.

In 1890 he went to live at Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, under the supervision of a physician, Dr Paul Gachet, himself an amateur painter and engraver, whom van Gogh painted.

On July 27, 1890, van Gogh shot himself at the scene of his last painting, the foreboding Cornfields with Flight of Birds, and died two days later.
Vincent van Gogh: Dutch Post-Impressionist painter

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