Vincent Van Gogh or known as Vincent Willem Van Gogh was a well-known Dutch post-impressionist
painter, who was born on March 30, 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands and died on July 29, 1980 in Auvers-
sur-Oise, France. He was brought up in a family following a religious culture since he was a son of a
Pastor. However, Van Gogh suffered from mental illness, prolonged anxiety with very low self-esteem
and confidence. He died at age of 37 due to a gunshot wound, which has been considered suicide. He was renowned for his notable and impressive paintings that brought numerous remarks
during the period of the twentieth century. His explicit works influenced the hearts of many artists in this period as his paintings evoked beauty and emotions.
Vincent Van Gogh grew up in Groot-Zundert, a village where Catholics were dominant. He was the oldest son of Theodorus Van Gogh who is one of the pastors of the Dutch Reformed Church, and his mother
was Anna Cornelia Carbentus. He had siblings named Theodorus, Cor, Elisabeth, Anna and Willemina.
When Van Gogh was a child, he studied in a village school in Zundert where there were only 200
students. Van Gogh was known as silent, serious and thoughtful to his family. At the very young age of
13, with a broken heart, he was forced to leave his family to attend Willem II College, a middle school in Tilburg. This is where he met Constantinijn C. Husmans who taught him how to draw. Husmans was a successful painter in Paris and Van Gogh admired him. This is the time when Van Gogh cultivated his passion for art.
Vincent Van Gogh loved the world of art when he was young. He started to draw as a child, and continued to pursue his hobby until he decided to become an artist. He began to love paintings during his late twenties, and his works became well-known to many artists until the age of 35. In a period of 10 years, he had compiled 2,000 works, in which 1,100 of them were his drawings and sketches and 900 of them were his paintings. His compilation contained self-portraits, flowers, paintings portraying cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. Everything was well executed using bold and vibrant colors.
All through his life his passion for art remained with him. As an adult, he worked as an art salesman in a company of art dealers. In this occupation, he travelled back and forth to London, Paris and The Hague. It seemed to be the happiest years of his life. It was also the time when he fell in love with Eugenie Loyer, the daughter of his landlady. After confessing his feelings to her, Eugenie rejected him as she was already engaged to another man. Van Gogh also became a teacher for a short period in England, then a clerk in a bookstore, even though unhappy with this job. Van Gogh also had the desire to become a
Pastor, and pursued it as a missionary in the Borinage, one of the mining districts in Belgium in 1879.
However, he was dismissed as a Pastor due to overzealousness. Despite his unsuccessful careers,
he remained in Belgium for his education in art and found happiness through his creations.
When he was working as a missionary in Belgium, he continued to sketch people residing in the local community. His first major painting was made in 1885, which he named as The Potato Eater. This painting has a face of earthly somber-toned person that was easily distinguished as it was painted using vivid colors. In that same year, he visited Antwerp and found the creations of Ruben. He decided to leave and moved to Paris in March 1886, where he discovered the French Impressionists. It was in France where he was taken with the breath-taking sunset in the South. He began to use vibrant and brighter colors in his paintings, while he gradually developed new styles in his creations and continued to enhance them. In 1888, his works became recognizable and impressive while he was residing in Arles.
Vincent Van Gogh's Creations
After The Potato Eaters, Van Gogh created many more paintings. Some of his works include The Night Café, Van Gogh’s Room at Arles, Entrance to the Public in Arles, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Landscape at Saint-Remy, The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise, Village Street in Auvers, Starry Night over the Rhone, Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet, Sunflowers, Wheat Field with Crows, At Eternity’s Gate, Montmartre, Irises, and The White House at Night.
Vincent Van Gogh's Travels
Van Gogh travelled to different places where he practiced and enhanced his skills. He moved with his
parents to Etten, Drenthe and The Hague where he continued his passion for drawing. He also went to
Nuenen and Antwerp where he paid young boys to bring bird’s nests to him that he used as subjects for his paintings. Van Gogh also travelled to Paris during this period and visited his younger brother Theo. He studied art at Fernand Cormon’s Studio and created new paintings. On February 21 1888,
he finally moved to Arles where he hoped for a new life. However, he was an alcoholic who also suffered from a severe cough due to chronic smoking.
Vincent Van Gogh's Death
Vincent Van Gogh had the closest relationship with his brother Theo. They communicated by exchanging letters when Van Gogh was away from his family. Van Gogh expressed his loneliness and distress. It was said that this well-known painter suffered from mental illness, manifesting hallucinations and despair. At some point it was said that he was unable to paint, which turned out to be overwhelming for him.
In 1889, Van Gogh suffered from severe depression and was admitted to Monastery Saint Paul in Saint
Remy Provence, France. He never lost his passion for painting and the clinic's garden were some of his primary subjects. In May 1890, Vincent Van Gogh was transferred to another psychiatrist named Dr. Paul Gachet. He created another portrait that was dedicated to his doctor. However, his depression worsened.
On July 27, 1890, after his painting activity, he shot himself using a revolver. The wound in his chest
led to a severe infection that caused his death after two days. His brother was with him during his
hospitalization until the day he died. Van Gogh was buried in Auvers-sur-Oise cemetery. Unfortunately, his brother did not cope well with Vincent’s death. Six months after his brother’s death, Theo died and was buried next to Vincent.