Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

😉 Greetings to regular readers and art lovers! In the article “Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts” – about the life of the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter and his work.

The works of this master had a timeless influence on the painting of the twentieth century. For 10 years, he created more than 2100 works: portraits, self-portraits, landscapes, still lifes …

Biography of Van Gogh

The future famous artist, whose works today are estimated at thousands and millions of dollars, Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born in the village of Groth-Zundert (Holland) in the spring of 1853 in the family of Pastor Theodor and his wife Cornelia.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Vincent Van Gogh at a young age

Men in this family chose the path of a priest or a seller of paintings. In 1869, the young man got a job at the firm “Gupil & Co” in The Hague, selling various works of art. One of the owners of the company was his uncle.

However, Van Gogh had no talent for such work. He loved painting, was intelligent and knew how to win over literally any interlocutor. Thanks to this alone, he achieved some success. He also had good ability to learn foreign languages.

In the summer of 1873, a 20-year-old boy was sent for two years to work in a branch of the company, which was located in the capital of Great Britain.


In London, he rented an apartment, lived without worries and enjoyed the delights of the capital city, and visited the so-called hot spots. With a decent salary, he could become a successful salesperson. But he desperately fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the landlady, and here he was in for deep disappointment.

It turned out the object of his passion was betrothed. It was a hard blow. Refusal in a matter of days changed the young man beyond recognition, he became gloomy and taciturn. This was the beginning of failure in relationships with all women who subsequently met on his short life path.

In 1875 Van Gogh changed branches of the company several times, lived and worked in Paris, then again in London. However, nothing can bring back the old Vincent with a cheerful character. He loses faith in himself forever, he is not interested in anything, and even work. The result was a dismissal.

In Search of Yourself

Religion came to the rescue. Vincent wanted to help the poor. In 1876 he came to Britain and took a job as a school teacher, first at Ramsgate and then at Isleworth. A year later, he gets bored with this occupation and he leaves for his homeland.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Self-portrait – 1887

He worked as a clerk in one of the firms in Dordrecht, then went to Amsterdam and entered the theological faculty of the university. The severity that prevailed here forced him to quit his studies and return to his parents in the summer of 1878. In a family of relatives and friends for eight years, he almost completely finds peace.

In the spring of 1886, Vincent arrived in Paris to see his only brother, Theo, who rents an apartment on Rue Lepic, Montmartre. He paid for several lessons from the famous artist F. Cormon, made a close acquaintance with Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin.

Here, 33-year-old Van Gogh is gaining popularity, as he completely discards gloom and unsociability. He successfully imitates the works of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Their canvases are exhibited at the Theo Gallery and attract deep interest from the French public.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Van Gogh’s “Irises” 1889. Getty Museum, Los Angeles

But in the fate of a novice artist, the unexpected happens. He settles in a Brussels evangelical school and emerges from there as a preacher in Borinage, a huge miners’ district. Vincent, having no job and not a penny to his soul, gives out all his clothes and everything that still remains with him.

Van Gogh with all his heart wanted to convey to the poor the true teaching of Christ, but the church considered him a fanatic, and in the summer of 1879 banned his activities.

Van Gogh remained in this area for some time, making sketches, sketches and studies of people and nature. It is here that the 27-year-old Vincent suddenly gets an insight – he wants to become a painter.

“Search a woman”

Although Van Gogh took lessons from renowned painters, he was largely self-taught. He studied craftsmanship when he copied canvases, read many books on this topic and constantly made all kinds of sketches. He wanted to choose the path of an illustrator for himself in the future. In the winter of 1881 he takes lessons from Anton Mouve.

At this time, Van Gogh creates the first oil painting. Although Vincent works hard to master the fundamentals of painting, he has yet to completely rid himself of his past emotional problems.

He is experiencing a new romance, and again the passion did not find reciprocity. His cousin, who recently remained the widow of Kay Vos, becomes a hobby. Again the painful test of rejection follows.

During the 1881 Christmas celebrations, Vincent has a serious quarrel with his father over Kea. As a result, he left his homeland and went to The Hague, where he met Klazina Hoornik, a dressmaker who moonlighted providing intimate services to men.

The artist lived with this woman for several months, although he contracted a venereal disease from her. He wanted to legitimize the relationship in order to save the “fallen woman.” From this step, his relatives stopped him.

Vincent was constantly morally and financially supported by Theo: he wrote letters to him, sent him money. In December 1883, Vincent went home (his parents moved to Nuenen).

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

“The Potato Eaters” 1885. Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Here he is working on a large canvas – “The Potato Eaters”. He realistically depicts a simple peasant family living in the neighborhood. A couple of years later, Vincent Van Gogh leaves for Antwerp. There he studied for some time at the Academy of Arts.

In the spring of 1886, he and his brother rented an apartment in Paris. The artist will not return to his homeland. But here he has no friends except Theo. The reason for this is its unpredictability and difficult, uncontrollable nature. Sometimes he even becomes dangerous, because Van Gogh abuses alcohol.


By a strange coincidence, almost all of the artist’s moves occur every two years. In 1888 he left Paris and moved to the small town of Arles. The locals are not happy with its appearance. He looked strange and they, according to Van Gogh himself, considered him “a drunkard and a vagabond.”

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Cafe terrace at night (1888). Written in Arles

The famous long-liver Jeanne Louise Calment, who was born and lived in Arles for 122 years, describes the artist as “dirty, very poorly dressed, unfriendly, who smelled of booze”.

But pretty soon Vincent seemed to warm himself under the sun of Arles. Several friends appeared, including the postal worker J. Roulin, who repeatedly posed for him.

Story with an ear

The artist decided to organize a special village for people of art in this enchanting area. He persuaded Paul Gauguin to come and discuss some of the details of this plan.

In Arles, on Christmas Day, they quarreled violently. In the heat of a quarrel, Van Gogh wanted to cut Gauguin with a razor, but he, fortunately, ran away. Vincent was beside himself with anger and cut off part of his ear. This was a clear sign of mental illness. Theo put Vincent in a psychiatric hospital for treatment. The artist spent half a month in a hospital bed.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Vincent Van Gogh. Self-portrait with a bandaged ear and a pipe. 1889. Zurich Kunsthaus Museum, Niarchos Private Collection

The doctors noted a significant improvement in his mental state and he returned home. However, less than three weeks later, he began to have terrible hallucinations. He found himself again at the Clinic Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Now for a whole year, under the vigilant supervision of medical personnel.

Between violent bouts of aggravation, Vincent creates new canvases with incredible speed. He depicts everything that he sees from the window of the hospital ward. In the spring of 1890, doctors at a general council called his condition consistently satisfactory.

The last refuge

Vincent, discharged from the clinic, went to the quiet and picturesque village of Auvers-sur-Oise, 40 kilometers from Paris. On the way to a new refuge, the artist met his brother’s family, where his first-born had recently appeared. He was given the name Vincent.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

Van Gogh felt almost at ease in this lovely corner. But mental illness did not release him from his tenacious claws. On July 27, 1890, 37-year-old Vincent fired a shot, aiming the barrel of a pistol in the chest.

The wound turned out to be fatal, two days later he passed away. Six months later, Theo passed away. The siblings found eternal peace at Auvers Cemetery.

Vincent Van Gogh: biography, interesting facts, video

The grave of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theodore at the cemetery in Auvers (France)

In this video additional information “Vincent Van Gogh: Biography and His Paintings”

Post-Impressionists: Vincent Van Gogh

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