Vincent Van Gogh Biography: the Life of the Dutch Painter

What else is there to say about the world’s most celebrated painter? This seminar, offered in conjunction with the Courtauld Gallery’s first-ever exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s self-portraits throughout the artist’s entire career, will run from February to May 2022, (Portraying Van Gogh Biography) and aims to question preconceived notions about the artist and propose fresh perspectives. It seeks to move beyond the myths and recover the man and the artist.


Vincent Van Gogh Childhood

In the south of the Netherlands, Vincent Van Gogh was the second of six children born into a pious Dutch Reformed Church family. Father Theodorus Van Gogh and mother Anna Cornelia Carbentus were both booksellers’ daughters, and they had a son, Vincent. When he was a youngster, Van Gogh was prone to mood swings and had little interest in painting, although he excelled in languages while attending two boarding schools. In 1868, he stopped going to school and didn’t try to go back.

Vincent Van Gogh Early Training

Van Gogh began his apprenticeship in 1869 at the Paris headquarters of international art dealers Goupil & Cie and subsequently worked at the Hague department of the business. In his role as an art dealer, he had some success, and he remained with the company for over a decade.

Van Gogh’s correspondence with his younger brother Theo began in 1872. Vincent and I corresponded right up until the end. It wasn’t long until Theo became an art dealer in his own right and Vincent was transferred to Goupil & Cie’s London office. Vincent was depressed at the moment and turned to God for comfort.

Van Gogh chose to enter the priesthood after being fired from his job at Goupil’s after repeated moves between London and Paris. During his time as a destitute preacher in southern Belgium, he donated all of his goods to the local coal workers until the church finally had enough and excommunicated him.

To realize the actual importance of what the great artists teach us in their works, that leads to God; one guy wrote or told it in a book; another, in a painting.” Van Gogh determined in 1880 that an artist and a servant of God could coexist.

Theo sent Van Gogh some money to help him survive while he was still in poverty. Vincent’s artistic endeavors didn’t bring in much money, so Theo stepped in to help his older sibling out financially.

A year later, in 1881, Van Gogh was forced to return home with his parents, where he learned to draw on his own. Kee Vos-Stricker, his cousin, piqued his interest.

The family was shattered by his relentless pursuit of her adoration, despite her absolute rejection. Following his departure from Amsterdam and his time in The Hague, Vincent Van Gogh studied under the influential Hague School painter Anton Mauve with Theo’s help.

French artist Jean-François Millet was introduced to Van Gogh by Mauve and was known for representing peasants and ordinary workers.

 Vincent Van Gogh Adult Time

To follow in the footsteps of Millet’s peasant-life painters, Vincent van Gogh began sketching the withered hands, heads, and other anatomical traits of the poor and working-class in Nuenen, Netherlands, in 1884. It wasn’t just his work that made him happy, but his personal life as well.

While Van Gogh criticized Theo for not working hard enough to sell his paintings, Theo countered that the gloomy palette of Vincent’s works had fallen out of favor with the public in favor of the brilliant and vibrant style popularized by the Impressionists.

Van Gogh’s father died suddenly on March 26, 1885, putting a lot of pressure on him to succeed as an artist. His first large-scale composition, the famous masterpiece Potato Eaters (1885), was produced shortly after.

 Vincent Van Gogh Late Years and Death

Homeopathic doctor and amateur artist Dr. Gachet took care of Van Gogh when he left the clinic and brought him to Auvers-Sur-Oise outside of Paris. Van Gogh readily agreed to the doctor’s suggestion that he paint to aid in his recuperation.

In the latter months of his life, he painted nearly a picture a day in Auvers, documenting the landscape around him. Van Gogh’s sadness worsened dramatically after Theo revealed his plans to start a company and emphasized that funding would be tight for a spell. For unknown reasons, on July 27, 1890, he strolled into an adjacent wheat field and shot himself.

Despite Van Gogh’s efforts, he died two days later as a result of poor treatment of his wounds. His dying words were, “The grief will stay forever,” as related by Theo, who raced to be by his brother’s side during his final hours of life.

The Estate of  Vincent  Van Gogh

There are several examples of Van Gogh’s widespread effect on the history of painting. They followed Van Gogh in adopting Van Gogh’s spiritually influenced use of color in the Fauves and German Expressionism.
In the mid-20th century, Abstract Expressionists emulated Van Gogh’s use of broad, expressive brushstrokes to convey the artist’s innermost thoughts and feelings. As recent as the 1980s’ Neo-Expressionist artists Julian Schnabel and Eric Fischl, Van Gogh’s expressive color palette and brushwork may be traced back to the Dutch master.

Vincent Van Gogh Biography

Vincente Minelli’s Lust for Life (1956), which examines the tumultuous connection between Van Gogh and Gauguin, was one of several works of popular culture to be influenced by his life. Van Gogh painted more than 900 works and drew more than 1,100 sketches in his lifetime, yet he only ever sold one of his creations. For Van Gogh, who had no children of his own, his works were handed to his brother, the painter Theo.


Soon after his death, the idea that van Gogh was a troubled artist and a lone genius took hold, and it has taken more than a century for that idea to fade. Assumptions are still being made. has many more articles that you may read if you like this one.

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