Vincent Van Gogh: Life Story And Artistic Style

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The man in the yellow hat and the orange beard; Van Gogh loved painting sunshine, but often felt gloomy and sad. He never sold a painting, but in our current days, his work is loved and admired all around the world. He has received the appreciation he wished for.

On March 30th, 1853, Vincent van Gogh was born in a small town in the Netherlands to a Protestant minister Theodorus Van Gogh, which his wife unfortunately a year earlier, encountered the death of her baby which was stillborn, whose name was also Vincent. Vincent had 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Vincent went to boarding school, when he was a child, and managed to get pretty good grades throughout. At age 13, he was sent to secondary school in Cobourg, where he did quite well especially in languages. Vincent was capable of speaking and writing in Dutch, English, and in French. Unfortunately, afterwards, his family wasn’t doing well financially, thus he had to go back home and quit school afterwards. In the year 1869 Vincent’s uncle got him a job as a trainee at the international Gospels. Since Vincent’s brother was in Brussels, he began writing letters to practice the information he was taught at school. He wrote some 651 letters. In 1875 he transferred to Paris, where he became increasingly religious. Even though Vincent was becoming more interested in art, he was becoming less interested in his job. So, in 1876 he quit and return back to England to encounter several years of what we might call his job hunting or experimenting. Vincent tried a variety of jobs such as teaching, and working in a bookstore, but ultimately decided to follow his dream. He was studying theology at the age of 24, where he continued to write to his brother along side to building sketches in his letters. Vincent quit school again, yet he still wanted to serve God, so he moves to Belgium on a new mission to work as a preacher in a mining region. Vincent went all in and lived with the minors sharing in their poverty. He slept on the floor and gave away just about everything he owned. Vincent started taking painting lessons from the artist Anton who taught him the basics of oils in watercolours. Vincent took these instructions up and practiced fanatically. After his father’s death, Vincent then moved to Paris to live with his brother whim introduced him to artists like Claude Monet from which Vincent was greatly inspired. He also discovered a new aspect through which he was inspired, Japanese wood cuts, which sold all over Paris. He them moved to south of France, where he immediately got to work painting flowers, such as, orchids and, workers gathering the harvest and boats along the coast. Gauguin came down to the yellow studio that Vincent created and stayed with him for a while.

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Vincent used his paint with quite an amazing speed; gathering up the paint with the shovel, he was known to look at his canvas and then attack it with 2 or 3 brush strokes. It was on December 29th in the year 1888 around 11 PM that Gauguin and Vincent encountered an argument after which Gauguin threatened to leave. Vincent, who always had a difficult time working through his emotions, grabs razor and slices off this ear. Vincent then wrapped up the ear in a newspaper, headed down to the red-light district and presented the package to a young lady, and asked her to take care of the object carefully and disappeared afterwards.

Fearing he might have another psychological episode, Vincent committed himself to St Paul a psychiatric even though Vincent encountered great complexes within the asylum, Vincent was incredibly productive, where he completed around 150 paintings within a year.

One of these paintings was the iconic starry night, which he painted while looking through the iron barred windows in his room. Vince did only sell a few paintings while still alive, he didn’t receive much appreciation for his work until the year 1896. During that year one of his paintings were shown in Brussels, and an art critic Albert published a positive article about the show of Vincent’s paintings. After leaving the asylum he went to a country side close to his brothers, when he realized his brother might quit his job. Unfortunately, this drive Vincent into an episode of extreme worry and depression concerning the future. It was on July 27th in 1890 he set out to paint in a field himself, when he shot himself in chest with a pistol. He staggered back to the house where he was staying, which was some 2 plus miles away, afterward which 2 days later he died from his injuries.

Creating over 850 paintings, and nearly 1300 works on paper. Unfortunately, not 6 weeks after Vincent’s death is brother then died a year later in 1891. Great focus is to be shed on his sister in law, which made van Gogh famous after his death. She started loaning paintings to museums all over the world to trigger awareness, and that is the aspect through which finally brought the deceased Vincent the fame and appreciation he owns today. In 1914, she also published the first edition of Vincent’s letters to fulfil this passion for shedding light on Vincent van Gogh’s work. The massive art collection passed down to her son who loaned it to a museum in Amsterdam in 1930. Her son appreciated Vincent’s work and continued to spread awareness around him. After the Vincent van Gogh foundation was formed in 1962, work began on a dedicated museum for the collection. The van Gogh museum had over 1.5 million people visit this incredible museum every year. There were certainly more to Vincent van Gogh then some flowers and cut off ears. Van Gogh remained an unnoticed artist throughout the whole course of his life; he was shown little appreciation during the time he lived in. She made it her mission to publish his work from drawings to the letters sent to his brother, due to the fact that she believed in Vincent’s potential. She knew that his work should be appreciated. Vincent was driven to find his passion in this world, and once he did, he poured himself into what he was most passionate about.

What many know is that van Gogh cut his ear off, but most may not know that he shot himself at the age 37, and that after suffering 37 years of poverty and wonder less, with a reputation of being a failure. It wasn’t until 1880 when he was 27, that Vincent embraced being an artist. Numerous sketches on papers and in letters to his brother during the year 1886 in Paris showed the great skills he flourish at the time. He was greatly influenced by the impressionism, and post impressionism movement in France. His life was short and painful, and he probably thought of himself as a failure.

What makes Van Gogh stand out from the crowd, and what draws our eyes to his paintings again and again, within starry night and all his painting is. Van Gogh put style front and center, a post impressionistic masterpiece, the curved lines are meant to bounce our eyes between the stars. But a closer look reveals that the painting is composed of short sharp brush strokes, so that in his words their lines of contorted like those of ancient wood cuts. What makes Van Gogh, and in this case his starry night, unique the answer of course is the way he uses colour.

No one uses colour in a more impressive and confounding way than Vincent Van Gogh, but to consider that Van Gogh is unique only due to his use of colour, one would be missing the most important point. It has been discovered that Vincent was colour blind. Van Gogh used colours so brightly because he saw fewer colours than most. In the canvas of starry night, the canvas of human suffering, and resounding hope, he uses bright colours because he could not see the distinctions between closer ones. His limitations themselves freed him to create beauty. Perhaps, what made Van Gogh unique was that he genuinely saw the world differently.


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