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Ten Quick Facts to Know About Van Gogh

by VanGoghology


incent van Gogh is undoubtedly one of the most influential and renowned artists of all time. His unique style, characterized by bold brushstrokes and vivid colors, has captivated audiences for over a century. Despite his fame, there is still much that is not commonly known about Van Gogh’s life and work. Here are ten things you should know about this fascinating artist:

1 – Van Gogh Was Not Always An Artist.

Before becoming a teacher at a small boys’ boarding school in England, Vincent worked as an apprentice at Goupil’s Fine Art Galleries in The Hague, London, and Paris.

In 1877, he served time as a brief employee at Blussé & Van Braam Bookstore in Dordrecht. Here, Vincent became increasingly obsessed with the Bible and religious studies serving to yield his next position as a missionary in the depressive coal-mining district of Borinage in Belgium.

2. Van Gogh Suffered From Mental Illness.

Throughout his life, Van Gogh struggled with mental illness, which often manifested in the form of severe anxiety, depression, and episodes of psychosis. He famously cut off his own ear in a fit of madness and spent time in a psychiatric hospital. Despite his struggles, he continued to create art until his untimely death at the age of 37.

3. His Most Famous Works Were Created During The Last Two Years Of His Life.

Van Gogh created over 2,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, and sketches. However, his most famous works were created in the last two years of his life. During this time, he produced some of his most iconic pieces, such as “Starry Night,” “Irises,” and “The Potato Eaters.” Van Gogh’s works are characterized by their emotional intensity and deep symbolism. He often used personal experiences and emotions as inspiration for his art. Despite the tragic end to his life, Van Gogh’s art has continued to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

4. Van Gogh’s Brother Was Also An Artist.

Van Gogh had a close relationship with his younger brother, Theo, who supported him financially and emotionally throughout his life. Theo was also an artist, although he did not achieve the same level of fame as Vincent. Theo died just six months after Vincent, and the two are buried side-by-side in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.

The Red Vineyard painted in 1888

5. He Only Ever Sold One Painting During His Lifetime.

That we officially know of! The Red Vineyard was painted in 1888 and was displayed at the annual exhibition of Les XX, 1890 in Brussels – Belgian painter and collector Anna Boch, sister of Eugene Boch, a friend of Vincent’s purchased the landscape for 400 Francs. It is now owned by The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow

6. Van Gogh’s Legacy Continues To Inspire Artists Today.

Despite his tragic life and untimely death, Van Gogh’s legacy continues to inspire artists today. His unique style and powerful use of color have influenced countless painters and other artists, and his works remain some of the most beloved and recognizable in the world. From museums to coffee mugs, and the worldwide Immersive Experience – Van Gogh’s art is everywhere, a testament to the enduring power of his vision.

Before Vincent departed for Antwerp in late 1885, he gave his friend and pupil, Anton Kerssemakers Autumn Landscape with Four Trees – when Anton asked why Vincent had not signed the painting, he said he might do some time or other, “I suppose I shall come back someday, but actually it isn’t necessary; they will surely recognize my work later on, and write about me when I’m dead and gone. I shall take care of that, if I can keep alive for some little time.”

7. Vincent Had Five Siblings.

Vincent van Gogh had five siblings – Two brothers and three sisters:

  • Theodorus (Theo) (1857–91).
  • Cornelius Vincent (1867–1900).
  • Anna Cornelia (1855–1930).
  • Elisabeth (Lies) Huberta (1859–1936).
  • Willemina (Wil) Jacoba (1862–1941).

8. He Had A Complex Relationship With His Fellow Artists.

While Van Gogh was friends with many of his fellow artists, including Gauguin and Émile Bernard, he also had a turbulent relationship with some of them. He had frequent disagreements with the Impressionists, who he felt were too concerned with technique and not enough with emotion and expression.

9. Van Gogh Was A Gifted Linguist

In addition to his native Dutch, Vincent spoke three other languages fluently: English, German and French. He also wrote many of his letters in French.

10. Van Gogh Was Heavily Influenced By Japanese Art

Vincent was profoundly influenced by Japanese art. During the late 19th century, Japan had become a major source of inspiration for Western artists due to its unique style and distinctive artistic sensibilities. Van Gogh was particularly drawn to Japanese woodblock prints, which he collected and admired greatly.
Van Gogh’s interest in Japanese art had a significant impact on his own works. He began to incorporate many of the stylistic elements of Japanese art into his paintings, such as bold colors, dynamic lines, and flattened perspectives. These techniques helped to create a more expressive and emotionally charged style that would come to define his artistic legacy.

Van Gogh’s fascination with Japanese art also led him to experiment with new techniques and materials, such as using bamboo brushes and rice paper in his works. He even created a series of paintings that directly referenced Japanese prints, including his famous “Japonaiserie” series.

Vincent van Gogh Almond blossom min


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