Vincent van Gogh

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Born: March 30, 1853
Died: July 29, 1890
Field: Painting
Style: Post-Impressionism

Van Gogh’s greatest works:

  • Van Gogh’s self-portraits
  • Sunflowers
  • The Potato-eaters
  • The Bedroom in Arles
  • The Starry Night
  • Irises

The life of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert in the south of Holland in 1853. He was an art dealer, teacher and preacher before he decided to become a painter in 1880. His first works were very dark, while most great artists of that time used bright colors. When he moved to Paris in 1868 he learned to paint portraits and use color. He made at least twenty self-portraits during this period.

Vincent didn’t like the city life and moved to Arles in the Provence in 1888. In these last years of his life he would create many works and most of his masterpieces. However, it was also during this period that he suffered from many inner conflicts and had himself hospitalized. On July 27, 1890, he shot himself in the chest. He died two days later. His brother Theo, who maintained him, inherited his collection. Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime.

The work of Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh became famous for his use of light and color. He spread his paint thickly onto the canvas with heavy brushstrokes or a palette knife. His post-impressionist work influenced most of the major art movements of the 20th century.

During his lifetime, he only sold one painting. Today his work is immensely popular and sells for fortunes. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has 200 canvases, 500 drawings and 750 written documents on display and attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.

Where to find Vincent van Gogh

If you want to learn more about the work, the life and influences of Vincent van Gogh, you should visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It houses an enormous collection of paintings and drawings by Van Gogh and his contemporaries. Another great place is the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, which also owns a stunning collection of works by Van Gogh.

‘Van Gogh 125 years of inspiration’

In 2015 it will be exactly 125 years ago since Vincent van Gogh's death. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo and Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch, which show parts of Van Gogh’s oeuvre, will honour the painter with special exhibitions revolving around the theme ‘Van Gogh 125 years of inspiration’. In addition countless anniversary activities relating to Vincent van Gogh's cultural heritage will be organised in Holland in 2015. Keep an eye on the site for more information.