About Vincent van Gogh


Vincent was a very introverted man. As he grew older so did his anxiety and insecurity. He suffered emotionally quite a lot. We can say about Vincent Van Gogh that he was a troubled man who searched all his life for love and recognition, without much success. The last years of his life were tempestuous. He drank a great deal and found himself in trouble. An example of this happened in Arles when he had the argument with Paul Gaugin and the discussion ended with the incident of the cut ear. We can also say about Van Gogh, that no matter what influences he had during his life, his own personality always shone through. Millet in Van Gogh’s early years, then Paul Gaugin and the impressionism movement, all made a mark on his artwork for a while, but at the end he was only looking for his own way of expression. We can conclude that Vincent Van Gogh was the pioneer of modern art. After his death, years later when his work was exposed and appreciated, a modern art movement started, inspired by his work.

In 1853, the 30th of March Vincent Van Gogh was born in the north of Bravant, a cold and humid part of the north of Holland.

Vincent Van Gogh was the older one of the six children of a protestant vicar. He maintained with his brother Theo, four years younger than him, a relationship that would determine his existence and his artistic trajectory.

The correspondence that both interchanged throughout all their lives is the testimony of the intensity of their relationship.

After receiving a good education in a deprived boarding school, at the age of sixteen he entered the gallery of Parisian art Goupil & Cie as an apprentice in the branch of founded by Vincent`s uncle – there he came in contact with the works of the school of Barbizon.

Van Gogh was transfer to London in 1873 and that was the beginning of his first creative stage. After a love rejection, he became more and more lonely.

In 1878 he became preoccupied by his spiritual state and began the study of theology. When this failed to satisfy his yearning for divine relationship he sacrificed his comforts and began preaching to the impoverished miners of Boringe. In this period he made a series of drawings of the miners. Towards 1880, after being expelled because of level of his identification with the miners (according with the other protestant vicars), Vincent discovered in painting his authentic vocation, believing it to be a route to console humanity.

In the first years of the decade of 1880 Van Gogh studied with diverse painters, like Anton Mauve. His fast evolution and the desire for knowledge of Impressionism caused him to leave academic education and meet with Theo in Paris in 1886. His brother introduced him to Pissarro, Seurat and Gauguin… His brush colour palette became definitively colourist and his vision less traditional.

Vincent’s interest in colour and nature induced him to go to Arles, where his work progressively expressed the clarity his feelings about the scenes and portraits of people and the their own mental state.

With the intention of bringing together the “impressionists of the south”, Vincent Van Gogh rented a house. He invited artists that shared his interests and it was where Paul Gauguin spent two months. At the end of those two months, on Christmas Eve 1888, Gaugin and Vincent had a fight that ended with the famous cut ear of Van Gogh.

In April of the following year, Vincent Van Gogh was afraid that he would loose his ability to work, so he requested admission to the psychiatric hospital of Saint-Remy-of-Provence where he remained in for twelve months. Unable to paint outdoors he developed works related to the hospital, pictures of doctors and interpretations of pictures of Rembrandt, Delacroix and Millet.

Not being able to overcome his state of melancholy and solitude, in May of 1890 Vincent Van Gogh went to Paris to visit his brother Theo. Taking his brother’s advice, he travelled to the Auvers-south-Oise, where he was put under a homeopathic treatment by the doctor Paul-Ferdinand Gachet. In this small town Van Gogh portrayed the landscape and his inhabitants, trying to catch their spirit.

His style evolved formally towards a more expressive painting, without precise forms and with vivid colours. Although months later doctor Gachet considered him totally cured, his mood did not improve due to his feelings of guilt caused by the dependency of his brother Theo and by his professional failure. Sunk in this situation of anguish, the 27 of July Van Gogh shot himself in the chest; and died two days later.