A Brief History of the Life and Art of Vincent van Gogh

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Vincent van Gogh is an unforgettable name among the list of the famous and most influential Dutch painters. However, he was also a painter who remained unattended and unrecognized during his lifetime. The visit to the Van Gogh Museum is something a person cannot avoid during his Amsterdam tours. If you are planning to make a private van Gogh museum tour, it is necessary for you to have an idea about the life and artworks of Vincent van Gogh.

The Early Life of van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter and artist who worked in the post-impressionist period. His artworks greatly influenced the 20th-century art world.

He was born on March 30, 1853, in a place called Groot-Zundert, in the Netherlands. His father was Theodorus van Gogh. He was a country minister. His mother Anna Cornelia Carbentus was a painter and art worker, from whom van Gogh learned the skill. Vincent was melancholic from his childhood because he was born after the elder son of his parents with the same name that he had after he became stillborn. He had the fate to see his name etched on the headstone of his brother’s tomb.

Vincent had two younger brothers and three younger sisters. It was his brother Theo van Gogh who played a significant role in his artistic life. The school education of Vincent ended at age 15 due to the financial struggles in his family. After that he developed an interest in artworks and spent his free time, visiting art galleries. His failure in marrying his love Eugenie Loyer caused a mental breakdown. After the incident, he devoted himself to church and godly living.

Though he wanted to become a minister and tried for it, he was rejected twice. He preached and ministered in the coal mines, which gave him the name “Christ of the Coal Mines.” The evangelical authorities were displeased with the lifestyle of van Gogh and hence rejected him.

The love life of van Gogh was very tragic. He fell in love with many women whom he thought he could help in their tragic situations. However, all these led him to severe depressions because his love was never reciprocated. He shifted from place to place living a nomadic life. However, during these times, he continued his artworks. He drew and painted the landscapes he visited and also the life of the people he saw there.

The Latter Days and Death of van Gogh

In 1880, van Gogh decided to become an artist and with this purpose, he moved to Brussels. It was his brother Theo who helped him financially. It was the artwork, which helped him to stay balanced in his mind. He started working on his masterpiece ‘Potato Eaters’, in the year 1885. Van Gogh later moved to Paris where his brother was and there he came to know about the impressionist paintings. He got into argument with many artists, which led to him breaking up with them. He spent all his money on art and didn’t consider his health.

By the end of 1888, van Gogh was suffering both physically and mentally. Paul Gauguin came to stay with him and look after him. However, they had arguments and it finally led to Gauguin walking out. Vincent being depressed cut his ear and gave it to a woman in a local brothel. He was taken to the hospital later but he had suffered great blood loss. He was completely depressed and lonely. Though he tried to overcome depression by involving in artworks, he could not and hence was in the hospital again. He used to paint by the day and stay at the hospital by night.

In 1890, van Gogh moved to Auvers where he rented a room. In July of the same year, he died of a self-made gunshot wound. After his death, his paintings were collected and displayed in Paris. His fame increased and he came to be known as an artistic genius.

The van Gogh Museum and the Art Works

The museum was opened in 1973, to display van Gogh’s works to the public. There are more than 200 paintings of van Gogh displayed in the museum, along with his drawings and written documents.

It is believed that van Gogh did around 2100 artworks, many of which were destroyed. Those of which are available are some of the most expensive artworks in the world. Some of the significant artworks of van Gogh are ‘Starry Night’, ‘Sunflowers’, ‘Self-Portrait’, etc. Many of his artworks are at display in several other museums like the Rijksmuseum, Museum of Modern Art in New York, etc. All the major cities in the world like Washington DC, New York, Paris, and Amsterdam have the presence of van Gogh’s artworks in them.

If you are planning on your Amsterdam tours, make sure you visit the Rijksmuseum and the van Gogh museum to enjoy the works of Vincent van Gogh.