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Vincent van Gogh: Artwork and Life of Post-Impressionist Painter

Self-Portrait with Easel

Vincent Willem van Gogh
Mar 30, 1853 - Jul 29, 1890

        Vincent Van Gogh was a famous Dutch Post-Impressionist whose original and passionate art in many aspects anticipated and influenced Expressionism. Namely, his famous masterpiece, "The Starry Night" is considered to be one of the earliest expressionist paintings. Van Gogh's art reflects his ecstatic obsession with his work, his deep emotions and mood swings - all expressed through his stunningly vivid style and colors.

        "It certainly is a strange phenomenon that all the artists, poets, musicians, painters, are unfortunate in material things - the happy ones as well - what you said lately about Guy de Maupassant is a fresh proof of it. That brings up again the eternal question: is life completely visible to us, or isn't it rather that this side of death we see one hemisphere only?

        Painters - to take them only - being dead and buried, speak to the next generation or to several succeeding generations through their work.

        Is that all, or is there more besides? In a painter's life death is not perhaps the hardest thing there is.

        For my own part, I declare I know nothing whatever about it. But to look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. One thing undoubtedly true in this reasoning is this: that while we are alive we cannot get to a star, any more than when we are dead we can take the train.

        So it doesn't seem impossible to me that cholera, gravel, pleurisy and cancer are the means of celestial locomotion, just as steam-boats, omnibuses and railways are the terrestrial means. To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot." - Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh. Arles. Jul 9, 1888. [View the Source of Citation]

Timeline: Vincent van Gogh Artwork and Life

1853 - Birth of Vincent van Gogh

        Vincent van Gogh (Vincent Willem van Gogh) was born in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, on March 30, 1853, to a family of Theodoras van Gogh (a protestant clergyman) and his wife Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Vincent was the oldest child in the family (his brother, also named Vincent was stillborn a year earlier).

1857 - Birth of Theodoras (Theo) van Gogh

        Theo van Gogh, Vincent's favorite brother was born on May 1, 1857. Theo played a significant role in life and artwork of Vincent van Gogh.

1861 - School Education

        In 1861, Vincent attended a local village school in Zundert for one year, and then was homeschooled by a governess hired by his parents. At the age of eleven, Vincent's parents sent him to Zevenbergen, a nearby town, where he went to school for two years. Later, he briefly attended King Willem II State Secondary School in Tilburg.

1869 - Work at Goupil et Cie

        At the end of July 1869, Vincent van Gogh began his apprenticeship in The Hague branch of the French art-dealing firm of Goupil et Cie, in which his uncle Vincent (nicknamed Cent) had maintained an interest. Vincent was very enthusiastic about the trade and spent his free time learning art and visiting galleries and museums in nearby Amsterdam, where he familiarized himself with works of great Dutch and Flemish painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals.

        In August 1872, Vincent wrote to Theo, who visited him in The Hague, to thank him for coming. This letter began a long-lasting correspondence between brothers - an unprecedented source of information about Vincent van Gogh's life and art.

        In 1873, Theo also apprenticed at the same firm, in its Brussels' branch, in Belgium. Soon, Vincent was promoted and transferred to the London office. In London, Vincent fell in love with his landlady's daughter, Eugénie Loyer. However, Eugénie was secretly engaged at the time, and his love was left unanswered.

        In 1875, Vincent van Gogh was transferred to work in a Goupil's office in Paris, where he was visiting the museums and galleries, among which he especially liked the Louvre and the Luxembourg Palace.

        Website in progress..

Van Gogh Paintings: