Vincent Van Gogh

Topics: Vincent van Gogh, Impressionism, The Starry Night Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: May 11, 2006
Vincent van Gogh began painting in 1879, and continued until his death in 1890. He died a premature death due to the decay of his mental stability, which led to a botched suicide attempt, causing his death two days later. He painted in the period of post-impressionism, during which he made 750 paintings, 1,600 drawings, nine lithographs, and one etching. Some of his most famous and most influential works include Starry Night, The Potato Eaters, and All-Night Café.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March thirtieth of 1853 in the southern Netherlands. His father was a Protestant minister, a point that will show importance in his life later on. At the ripe age of sixteen, Vincent started an apprenticeship at an art dealership, Goupil & Co., then at the age of twenty he moved to the Goupil in London. Daily contact with works of art kindles his appreciation of paintings and drawings. In 1876, he returned to London to work as a teacher and a preacher, obsessed with ministering to the poor. After he is refused admittance to a theology school he moves to a coal mining area. There, he deeply connects with the miners, which draws disfavor from the church, causing him to be dismissed.

Van Gogh decided that he would become an artist, wishing to depict the life of the poor. In 1885, he paints The Potato Eaters. In this piece, the dark colors used show his lack of knowledge of how other Impressionists were painting at the time. Then, in 1886, Vincent moved to Montemarte where he sees for himself how the Impressionists handle light and color. "What is required in art nowadays," he writes, "is something very much alive, very strong in color, very much intensified. In 1887, Vincent's work begins to be influenced by Japanese prints that he bought. Then the next year, Vincent moved to southern France where he was immediately struck by the hot reds and yellows of the Mediterranean. Those colors were then increasingly used symbolically to represent his moods. It was in France...
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