Vincent van Gogh

by | Oct 26, 2019

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), was the son of a Dutch pastor. He was fist employed in The Hague, London and Paris by the picture dealers for whom his brother Theo worked. He then taught in two English schools, worked in a bookshop in Holland, began studying for the Church, and became a missionary in the coal mining district of the Borinage in Belgium, where he shared the poverty and hardships of the miners. Van Gogh did not begin to become an artist until he was living in great poverty after his dismissal from the mission in 1880.

In 1886 Van Gogh joined Theo in Paris and immediately came into contact with the works of the Impressionists, which Theo endeavored to sell in the gallery devoted to modern art that he directed. In 1888 Van Gogh went to Arles where he was later joined by Gauguin. In December 1888 he became insane, which resulted in the famous incident with his ear, and from then until his death Van Gogh suffered intermittent attacks of mental trouble. During the interval between them Van Gogh continued to paint, both in the asylums at Arles and St Remy and after his removal to Auvers, where, in July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself. His brother Theo, to whom most of his long and revealing letters were addressed and who was his constant support, moral and financial, died six months later.

After Van Gogh went to Arles, he painted many landscapes and portraits in heightened color and with a vivid, passionate expression of light and feeling, and after the arrival of Gauguin his work shows the influence of Synthetism in the greater simplification of his forms and his use of less modulated color. His paints done at St Remy and Auvers are vivid in color and with writhing, flame-like forms in the drawing, completely expressive of his tormented sensibility. His greatest influence was on Munch and the German Expressionists.