Thanks to the preservation of thousands of letters Van Gogh had written to friends and family, especially to his brother Theo, we have a nearly complete understanding of his feelings, experiments, and views on every aspect of his life. Surprisingly, his incredible artistic talent went unnoticed and unrecognized until he was 27 years old, after he had already failed at two other career choices as an art dealer and a Protestant minister. Following his failure as a preacher, he began to study art. He obsessively began thousands of sketches and oil paintings. Many observers of Van Gogh's life believe that his oddities, which were apparent from early childhood, built up to create many experiences that directly impacted the development of Expressionistic painting. Therefore, a look into his childhood will give us an understanding of Van Gogh's creative expression.
Vincent's sister, Elizabeth Van Gogh, described his behavior as a child (1) "he was intensely serious and uncommunicative, and walked around clumsily and in a daze with his head hung low." She continued by saying, (1) "Not only were his sister and brothers strangers to him, but he was a stranger to himself."
A servant who worked for the Van Gogh family when Vincent was a child described his as an (1) "odd, aloof child who had queer manners and seemed more like an old man," than the child he was. Vincent later described his childhood as (2) "gloomy, cold, and sterile." Unaware of his own artistic ability, Vincent Van Gogh first tried to learn the art of selling art work. At the age of 16, he became the apprentice of an art dealer at the firm Goupil and Co. located at the Hague in Belgium and was later... [continues]
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