Born March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Holland, Van Gogh became one of the most famous Post Impressionist painters. His working life started as a clerk for his uncle's art dealership, The Hague. In 1873, he transferred to the London office, and fell in love with the landlady's engaged daughter. The pain of his loss was thought to have affected his mental state, especially in his later life.
Three years later, he returned to Holland, where he suffered more failure. This is part of a chain of events that led him to think poorly of himself. He was very self-judgmental, and felt like he was a failure, which contributed to his mental breakdown later on in his life.
had a very close relationship with his brother, Theo. Historians have found
that he has written over seven hundred letters to him. In 1886, he went to
live with his brother in Paris and became familiar with the modern art and
artists of that time. Under the influence of the impressionist
movement and Japanese printmakers he quickly began to experiment with new
and developing techniques. He first started to use his swirling brush techniques
in 1888 when he moved to Southern France. During this period of vitality in
his life, he started to work with Paul Gauguin.
two shared the Yellow House in Arles in 1889. In less than two month, the
two had a violent argument where he threaten Gauguin with a razor. Later that
night, he cut off part of his own ear and was hospitalized for hallucinations
and blood loss. Soon afterwards, he committed himself to the St. Rémy asylum,
and in his one year stay, he produced over two hundred paintings. Van Gogh
left the asylum for Auvers under persuasion from Pissaro, where he lived under
the care of Dr. Gachet. On July 27, 1890, only two months after the move,
he shot himself and died two days later. A final letter, addressed to his
brother was found in his coat pocket when he died.
Van Gogh's style is one that is very unique for his time.