The Life and Art of Vincent Van Gogh


“…His efforts have not been in vain, but he
will probably not live to see them come to
fruition, for by the time people understand
what he is saying in his paintings it will be
too late….”  Theo Van Gogh

 Doctors knew that with a bullet in his chest there would be just hours or days before Vincent’s life would come to a close. Once Theo arrived’ the hours were much like his life’ going back and forth between a completely natural and normal state of mind and others where he was completely out of his mind with anguish. Because his time was limited’ Theo and Vincent spent these last hours together’ with Vincent in bed smoking a pipe. When the end was obviously near’ the two brothers lay side by side in Vincent’s bed together’ holding onto a life that had deeply intertwined their lives in loving and often maddening ways. In his last moments’ Vincent was held tightly in his brothers arms as he mustered “I wish I could pass away like this” and he did. Vincent died in the arms of the loving brother who had kept him all those years despite his emotional existence and fluctuating mental states. Vincent Van Gogh died early in the morning of July 29′ 1890. Vincent was memorialized with a funeral shortly thereafter’ and in a befitting farewell’ his casket and grave were covered with dozens of the sunflowers that he had loved so much.

Vincent Van Gogh was an artist that just about everyone in the world is familiar with’ be it just his name’ his artwork’ or both. Though his life was not long’ Vincent Van Gogh left a lasting impression on artists and people from every walk of life. And even though we may only see canvases filled with beautiful and sometimes odd figures and landscapes’ there was a man behind all of these paintings. Oddly’ the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t appreciated during his time; it was even criticized and laughed at.

Vincent Van Gogh was a very emotional man’ a man that was moved to sketch and paint because he could find no other means of expression. Every line’ every stroke of fantastic color is now thought to have been motivated by a feeling’ an emotion’ a thought that Vincent could not express in any other manner. It’s true that Vincent’s emotional tendencies brought his life to a tragic end’ and this fact often overshadows the true beauty and magnificence of his work. But’ just as it often overshadows the work’ it cannot be extracted from his work because every stroke of paint on canvas was emotion for Vincent Van Gogh. He was a complicated man’ yes’ but his emotions are what made his art come alive’ and be something that we can all identify with.