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On this date, 169 years ago

Credit: Vincent van Gogh, a part of Self-Portrait, oil on board, 1887; via Wikipedia

Vincent Van Gogh was born

Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch painter considered part of the Post-impressionist movement. He created more than 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings, most of which were painted in the last two years of his life. Subjects of his pictures were landscapes, still life, portrait, and self-portraits. Van Gogh's paintings are distinctive with their bold, vivid, and contrasting colors. They are characterized by expressive brushwork and a dramatic, intensive atmosphere.

He became one of the most influential figures for Modern art and Western art ever since his late posthumous recognition at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, his paintings are some of the most expensive in the world. Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for $82.5 million and "Irises" for $53.9 million.

Paradoxically, during his life, he wasn't commercially successful at all. He was able to indulge in painting mostly thanks to his brother Theo, who supported him and his art financially and believed in his talent despite the lack of public acceptance of Van Gogh's paintings. During his life, he struggled with poverty, suffered from severe depression, and his extravagant, even weird social appearance.


Short Bio

Van Gogh's life was what one could expect from a romantic artist although he started to master painting relatively late. It was marked by the sign of tragedy and misunderstood. He was a serious, quiet, and thoughtful adolescent. As a young man, he worked as an art dealer but became dissatisfied with his job. Later on, he turn to religion and went to Belgium as a Protestant missionary, which resulted in solitude and ill health. In 1886, he went to live in Paris where he met with some of the avant-garde artists of the moment like Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin. At that period, Van Gogh was still developing his style, which was getting brighter as he created a new approach towards the subjects of his paintings and was fully realized during his stay in Arles, South of France in 1888. In the last two years of his life, he underwent severe psychotic episodes and deepening depression, which resulted in suicide by self-inflicted gunshot in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. The year was 1890 and Van Gogh was only 37 years old.

Van Gogh's Paintings

Enjoy a gallery with some of Vincent's most famous paintings.

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