Vincent Willem van Gogh - Top 10 Artists/Painters in the world - Art Valley




What am I in the eyes of most people 〞 a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person 〞 somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then 〞 even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion.

-          Vincent Van Gogh (letter to Theo, July 1882)



Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890. Vincent Van Gogh was an artist of exceptional talent. Influenced by impressionist painters of the period, he developed this with his own instinctive, spontaneous style. Van Gogh became one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century and played a key role in the development of modern art.




Short Biography Vincent Van Gogh

He was born in Groot-Zundert, a small town in Hollandin March 1853. His father was a Protestant pastor and he had three uncles who were art dealers.


His early life seems generally to be unhappy, after a period of working in his uncle*s art dealers, he became frustrated and so became a Protestant minister. He became a preacher in the poor agricultural districts ofBrabant. He empathised with the poverty of the inhabitants and began to share their poverty and rough living conditions. Despite trying to live according to the gospel message of poverty, the church authorities were displeased that Van Gogh seemed to be undermining the &dignity of the priesthood.* He was relieved of his post and Van Gogh turned to art. Despite always disliking any formal training, he studied art in bothBrusselsandParis. He began painting seriously, and inPariswas influenced by the new impressionist painters of Monet, Renoir and others. Financially helped by his close brother Theo, Van Gogh later travelled to Arles in the south of France were he continued his painting 每 often outside 每 another feature of the impressionist movement.





Born: Vincent Willem van Gogh, Mar. 30, 1853, Zundert,Netherlands

Died: July 29, 1890 (at age 37),Auvers-sur-Oise,France

Nationality: Dutch

Movement: Post-Impressionism

Field: Painter



Vincent van Gogh Famous Paintings

The Starry Night, 1889

Sunflowers, 1888

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888

Irises, 1889

The Potato Eaters, 1885

Yellow House, 1888

Caf谷 Terrace at Night, 1888

The Red Vineyard, 1888

Outskirts of Paris, 1887




Early Life

Van Gogh was born March 30,1853 inGroot-Zundert,Holland. Other than his birth, not much is known about his child-hood. He had five siblings; three sisters and two brothers. His dad was a pastor for the Methodist church that they attended, and his mom was just a housewife. The only thing Van Gogh ever said about these early years was ※my youth was gloomy, cold, and sterile.§



At the age of 15, he became an apprentice at an art dealership called Goupil and Cie. He was transferred to theLondonbranch when he was20 in1873. This was the only time in his life he was truly happy. He had a good job, he earned more than his father, and he was in love with his landlady*s daughter, Elizabeth. When he confessed his love to her, she denied it, saying she was engaged to a previous tenant. Devastated, he became increasingly hostile, and started hating his job. In 1876, he was officially let go from Goupil and Cie.




An Artist*s Journey

Van Gogh then decided he would become a preacher, and traveled to a small mining town to preach to them. Since they were impoverished, he inclined to live like them, and this lasted for about a year. He still needed his ministry degrees to be an official preacher, so he went and studied under a preacher in the area. After failing the test twice, he gave up and left the area. In 1880, his brother, Theo, finally convinced him to become an artist, and he attended the Royal Academy of Art for one year. Van Gogh hated being there, for he was against formal instruction. He believed art should just be a natural talent.



He left the Academy to train with his cousin by marriage, Mauve. Van Gogh at the time was living with a prostitute, Sien, and his cousin refused to train him if he continued living with her. After a few more months, Van Gogh and Mauve got into a fight and they never spoke again. In about 1884, Van Gogh moved in with his brother, Theo.



In 1885, Van Gogh*s father died. He went into a slight depression, for a few months, but came out of it when his brother, Theo, held his first art show for him inParis. Paintings like the Potato Eaters were shown there, but none sold. Many of the people that saw the exhibition thought the paintings were too dark and dreary, and no one wanted to look at paintings of peasants. He became depressed again, and started drinking absinth.




Peter Paul Rubens

The next year, Van Gogh discovered the work of Peter Paul Rubens, another Dutch artist from the Baroque era. He was inspired by Rubens bright colors and mix of contemporary styles with that of his own. Van Gogh was also influenced by the Japanese woodcuts being produced at that time, and he made several paintings like them. For instance, Japonaiserie: Oiran, completed in 1887. The painting is of a geisha off one of the wood blocks, with a border of lilies and bamboo.




Paul Gauguin

In November of 1887, he met Paul Gauguin, and became obsessed with him. They would hang out, exchange art work, and write letters to each other while they were away. But in December of 1888, they got into a huge fight, and Van Gogh cut off the bottom part of his own ear. He gave a piece to a prostitute named Rachael, although the reasons for why are unclear. Gauguin and Van Gogh never saw or spoke to each other again. After this, Van Gogh went crazy, Theo had to put him into a mental institution. He had two rooms, one for sleeping and one for painting.




Mental Institution & Death

Most of the works we know by Van Gogh were painted in the mental institution, like Starry Night (1889) and Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889). A good majority of these paintings like Starry Night had the ever-looming presence of death. The blackCypressin the painting is a symbol of death that reaches up into the night.



In 1890, Van Gogh was released from the mental institution, and relocated to Ravoux Inn, where he had a personal doctor to monitor him. On July 1, 1890, he went out to the wheat fields and shot himself in the chest. He died two days later, on July 3, at the age of 37. He was buried inAuvers-sur-Oise,France. Six months later, his brother Theo, died and was buried next to him.



※Starry starry night#..Now I think I know what you tried to say to me, and how you suffered for your sanity, and how you tried to set them free.§ 每 ※Vincent§ by Don McLean.







Cafe Terrace at Night 1888 ( Kröller-M邦llerMuseum) 

When I have a terrible need of 〞 shall I say the word 〞 religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.

- Vincent Van Gogh



InArles, he had a brief, if unsuccessful, period of time with the artist Gauguin. Van Gogh*s intensity and mental imbalance made him difficult to live with. At the end of the two weeks, Van Gogh approached Gauguin with a razor blade. Gauguin fled back toParis, and Van Gogh later cut off the lower part of his ear with the blade.



This action was symptomatic of his increasing mental imbalance. He was later committed to a lunatic asylum where he would spend time on and off until his death in 1890. At the best of times, Van Gogh had an emotional intensity that flipped between madness and genius.


He himself wrote:

※Sometimes moods of indescribable anguish, sometimes moments when the veil of time and fatality of circumstances seemed to be torn apart for an instant.§

- Vincent Van Gogh





Vase with 12 sunflowers 每 1888

It was during these last two years of his life, that Van Gogh was at his most productive as a painter. He developed a style of painting that was quick and rapid 每 leaving no time for contemplation and thought. He painted with quick movements of the brush and drew increasingly avant garde styles shapes 每 foreshadowing modern art and its abstract style. He felt an overwhelming need and desire to paint.



The work is an absolute necessity for me. I can*t put it off, I don*t care for anything but the work; that is to say, the pleasure in something else ceases at once and I become melancholy when I can*t go on with my work. Then I feel like a weaver who sees that his threads are tangled, and the pattern he had on the loom is gone to hell, and all his thought and exertion is lost.

- Vincent Van Gogh



In 1890, a series of bad news affected his mental equilibrium and one day in July, whilst painting, he shot himself in the chest. He died two days later from his wound.






Yellow House

Painted by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in 1889, Starry Night is one of the most well known paintings in modern culture. The painting is part of the permanent collection of theMuseumofModern ArtinNew York. The painting was the inspiration for the song ※Vincent§ (also known as ※starry starry night§) by Don McLean.McLean*s song reference the painting as well as other paintings by the famous artist






Most Famous Paintings: Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh

Even though Van Gogh painted many portraits of himself, this one is by far the most famous as it is his last self-portrait and one of the few that depicts him without a beard. It was given by him to his mother as a birthday gift. It is also one of the most expensive paintings of all times, as it was sold for $71.5 million in 1998, and is now part of a private collection






Most Famous Paintings: Self-Portrait Without Beard, by Vincent van Gogh


The genius of Vincent Van Gogh is captured in this atmospheric portrayal of French cafe life at night.



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