Born on 30th March 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands, Vincent Willem van Gogh is regarded as the one of the greatest ever Dutch painters, next only to Rembrandt. Although he could not achieve greatness during his lifetime and the success came years after his death, the 2000 paintings and drawings created by him in a span of merely 10 years, continue to fascinate people.
Most of van Gogh’s paintings contain striking colours and coarse brushwork, displaying the agony of a psychological disorder that finally led him to commit suicide. The legendary painter was found dead on 29th July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France at the age of 37. He was believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunfire injury.
Vincent van Gogh’s work includes some of the costliest paintings ever sold such as the Portrait of Doctor Gachet, which was auctioned at Christie’s on 15th May 1990 for a whopping 82.5 million dollars.
At the age of 16, Vincent started to work form Goupil & Co., an art dealer in The Hague and was later joined in the company by his younger brother Theo. The brothers shared a very close bond and wrote a number of letters to each other, which offer a deep insight into the life of the artist.
Vincent van Gogh was later transferred to London and Paris by his firm, where he became interested in religion and was subsequently dismissed by his employers for not paying enough attention to work.
It was in 1880 that he considered his brother’s suggestion and took to painting seriously, taking lessons from Anton Mauve for a brief period before splitting up with him because of a difference of opinion.
Vincent had a terrible love life as he was turned down by his widowed cousin Kee Vos and later had to split with his lover Sien Hoornik after opposition from his father and brother.
In 1886, van Gogh went to Paris and moved in with his brother before moving out a few years later as the city life proved too much to handle for him. Vincent van Gogh suffered a nervous breakdown after a quarrel with another artist Paul Gauguin and as a result, cut a part of his left ear in a fit of rage.
The only painting sold during his lifetime was the Red Vineyard, which is currently on display at a museum in Russia.
Vincent van Gogh achieved fame almost ten years after his death when an exhibition of his paintings was held in Paris on 17th March 1901.
Vincent van Gogh created nearly 2000 paintings and drawings during his lifetime. Some of his most famous creations include The Starry Night over the Rhone, Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, The Potato Eaters, The Night Café, Dr Paul Gachet, Van Gogh’s Room at Arles, Entrance to the Public Garden in Arles, Mountains at Saint-Remy, Vegetable Gardens in Monmarte and Landscape at Saint-Remy.