Vincent van Gogh 1853-1890
Vincent (Willem) van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, Zundert, Netherlands, and died on July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris.  He is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt.  His work, all of it produced during a period of only 10 years, conveys through its color, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms--the anguish of a mental illness that resulted in suicide.  Among his masterpieces are many self-portraits and the famous The Starry Night (1889).

In 1880, van Gogh decided that art was his profession and worked on it with focused frenzy.  Although he often suffered from extreme poverty and undernourishment, his output in the ten remaining years of his life was prolific. Altogether he made about 800 paintings and a similar number of drawings.  In February 1886, van Gogh moved to Paris.  In Paris he met Pissarro, Degas, Gauguin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. At this time, his painting style experienced a great change under the combined influence of Impressionism and Japanese woodblock prints.  It lost its morality of social realism. He became obsessed by the symbolic value of colors and began to use them for this purpose, which was different from the Impressionists who used them for capturing atmosphere and light.

Van Gogh sold only one painting, Red Vineyard at Arles, during his lifetime.  He was little known to the art world at the time of his death, but his paintings became famous after he died. He had a significant impact on Expressionism, Fauvism and early abstraction, as well as other aspects of 20th-century art.

Works by Van Gogh featured on this website:


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