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Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890)

Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot Zundert, Netherlands. He was one of the few artists who made a significant impact through his art in the 20th century.

Self Portrait of Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh started seriously pursuing art in his late twenties and till his death when he was 37, he produced more than an astounding 2000 artworks. Apart from the various paintings and sketches he made, many of his self portraits are also widely popular.  In fact, he is said to have painted more than 36 self portraits within a time span of four years, between 1886 and 1889.

Portrait of Dr Ree,1889

Apart from the various self portraits he made, he painted the portraits of many others as he always found greater joy is such works. According to him, the men and women in his paintings were more than just portraits, they symbolized the depth of the soul and hence he considered these works eternal. He also wanted the portraits to stand as epitomes of the then life for future generations.

The milestones in Van Gogh’s career were when he moved to the ‘Yellow House’ as it is called, in Arles for refuge. This opened up new horizons for Van Gogh, and he came across many people giving him varied perspectives and ideas. He created many works during his stay there and most of these have a yellowish color in them typical of the house.


His painting ‘Bedroom in Arles’ and his series of ‘Sunflowers’ continue to be some of the most famous paintings of all times. Van Gogh many times used everyday life as the subject of his paintings but expressed multiple meanings through simple things.

Van Gogh was deeply inspired by French Impressionists and he took to this type of painting when he moved to France. It was in France that Van Gogh started seeing a whole new dimension of art and started creating amazing art works in a short time span. It was also his interaction with various French painters that led him to change his palette and lightened shades became a larger part of Van Gogh’s canvas.

Van Gogh was admitted in an asylum due to his mental illness and nervous breakdown during the later part of his life. It was during this time that one of his most famous works, ‘Starry Night’ was painted.

His influence on expressionism and fauvism has been immense and over the years he has been a great source of inspiration to many expressionist painters.

The Van Gogh Museum located in Amsterdam is a dedicated museum to Van Gogh’s art works.

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