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 Gogh, Vincent van
Gogh, Vincent (Willem) van (b. March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.--d. July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris), generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt; he powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. His work, all of it produced during a period of only 10 years, hauntingly conveys through its striking colour, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms the anguish of a mental illness that eventually resulted in suicide. Among his masterpieces are numerous self-portraits and the well-known The Starry Night (1889).

 Gallery


 Well-known portraits

1013 x 834 212.7K
212.7K, 1013 x 834

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The Starry Night
Painted: June 1889
Oil on canvas
72 x 92 cm
The Museum of Modern Art
New York

Vegetable Gardens in Montmartre
Painted: 1887
96 x 120 cm


952 x 710 172.4K
172.4K, 952 x 710

601 x 872 45.6K
45.6K, 601 x 872

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Montmartre
Painted: 1886
Art Institute of Chicago
Starry Night over the Rhone
Painted: 1888
72.5 x 92 cm


1064 x 869 160.0K
160.0K, 1064 x 869

1070 x 873 96.2K
96.2K, 1070 x 873

The White House at Night
(Auvers)
Painted: June 1890
Oil on canvas
59 x 72.5 cm

 Gogh, Vincent van: Biography
Gogh, Vincent van (1853-90). Dutch painter and draughtsman, with Cézanne and Gauguin the greatest of Post-Impressionist artists.

His uncle was a partner in the international firm of picture dealers Goupil and Co. and in 1869 van Gogh went to work in the branch at The Hague. In 1873 he was sent to the London branch and fell unsuccessfully in love with the daughter of the landlady. This was the first of several disastrous attempts to find happiness with a woman, and his unrequited passion affected him so badly that he was dismissed from his job. He returned to England in 1876 as an unpaid assistant at a school, and his experience of urban squalor awakened a religious zeal and a longing to serve his fellow men. His father was a Protestant pastor, and van Gogh first trained for the ministry, but he abandoned his studies in 1878 and went to work as a lay preacher among the impoverished miners of the grim Borinage district in Belgium. In his zeal he gave away his own worldly goods to the poor and was dismissed for his literal interpretation of Christ's teaching. He remained in the Borinage, suffering acute poverty and a spiritual crisis, until 1880, when he found that art was his vocation and the means by which he could bring consolation to humanity. From this time he worked at his new `mission' with single-minded frenzy, and although he often suffered from extreme poverty and undernourishment, his output in the ten remaining years of his life was prodigious: about 800 paintings and a similar number of drawings.


1099 x 780 176.9K
176.9K, 1099 x 780

The Potato Eaters
Painted: 1885
Oil on canvas
81.5 x 114.5 cm
Gemaldegalerie
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh
Amsterdam

From 1881 to 1885 van Gogh lived in the Netherlands, sometimes in lodgings, supported by his devoted brother Theo, who regularly sent him money from his own small salary. In keeping with his humanitarian outlook he painted peasants and workers, the most famous picture from this period being The Potato Eaters (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; 1885). Of this he wrote to Theo: `I have tried to emphasize that those people, eating their potatoes in the lamp-light have dug the earth with those very hands they put in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labour, and how they have honestly earned their food'. In 1885 van Gogh moved to Antwerp on the advice of Antoine Mauve (a cousin by marriage), and studied for some months at the Academy there. Academic instruction had little to offer such an individualist, however, and in February 1886 he moved to Paris, where he met Pissarro, Degas, Gauguin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. At this time his painting underwent a violent metamorphosis under the combined influence of Impressionism and Japanese woodcuts, losing its moralistic flavour of social realism. Van Gogh became obsessed by the symbolic and expressive values of colors and began to use them for this purpose rather than, as did the Impressionists, for the reproduction of visual appearances, atmosphere, and light. `Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I have before my eyes,' he wrote, `I use color more arbitrarily so as to express myself more forcibly'.


587 x 478 81.1K
81.1K, 587 x 478

The night café
Painted: 1888
Yale University Art Gallery
Of his Night Café, he said: `I have tried to express with red and green the terrible passions of human nature.' For a time he was influenced by Seurat's delicate pointillist manner, but he abandoned this for broad, vigorous, and swirling brush-strokes.


1061 x 808 197.4K
197.4K, 1061 x 808

La chambre de Van Gogh à Arles
(Van Gogh's Room at Arles)
Painted: 1889
Oil on canvas
57 x 74 cm
Musee d'Orsay
Paris


Vincent's Room, Arles
Painted: 1888
Vincent Van Gogh Foundation
Amsterdam


613 x 476 64.6K
64.6K, 613 x 476

1020 x 818 241.6K
241.6K, 1020 x 818

Entrance to the Public Garden in Arles
Painted: 1888
Oil on canvas
72.5 x 91 cm
The Phillips Collection
Washington
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Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear
Painted: 1889
Oil on canvas
60 x 49 cm
Courtauld Institute Galleries
London


826 x 1012 247.4K
247.4K, 826 x 1012

In February 1888 van Gogh settled at Arles, where he painted more than 200 canvases in 15 months. During this time he sold no pictures, was in poverty, and suffered recurrent nervous crisis with hallucinations and depression. He became enthusiastic for the idea of founding an artists' co-operative at Arles and towards the end of the year he was joined by Gauguin. But as a result of a quarrel between them van Gogh suffered the crisis in which occured the famous incident when he cut off his left ear (or part of it), an event commemorated in his Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (Courtauld Institute, London).


606 x 476 40.9K
40.9K, 606 x 476

Landscape at Saint-Rémy
Painted: 1889
Ny Carlsberg Glypotek
Copenhagen
Mountains at Saint-Remy
Painted: 1889
Oil on canvas
71.8 x 90.8 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York


1005 x 807 223.0K
223.0K, 1005 x 807

In May 1889 he went at his own request into an asylum at St Rémy, near Arles, but continued during the year he spent there a frenzied production of tumultuous pictures such as Starry Night (MOMA, New York). He did 150 paintings besides drawings in the course of this year. In 1889 Theo married and in May 1890 van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise to be near him, lodging with the patron and connoisseur Dr Paul Gachet. There followed another tremendous burst of strenuous activity and during the last 70 days of his life he painted 70 canvases. But his spiritual anguish and depression became more acute and on 29 July 1890 he died from the results of a self-inflicted bullet wound.


832 x 1024 233.4K
233.4K, 832 x 1024

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Gachet, Dr Paul
L'église d'Auvers-sur-Oise
(The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise)
Painted: 1890
Oil on canvas
94 x 74 cm
Musee d'Orsay
Paris

832 x 1047 219.2K
219.2K, 832 x 1047

1023 x 816 227.4K
227.4K, 1023 x 816

Village Street in Auvers
Painted: 1890
Oil on canvas
73 x 92 cm
Ateneumin Taidemuseo
Helsinki
He sold only one painting during his lifetime (Red Vineyard at Arles; Pushkin Museum, Moscow), and was little known to the art world at the time of his death, but his fame grew rapidly thereafter. His influence on Expressionism, Fauvism and early abstraction was enormous, and it can be seen in many other aspects of 20th-century art. His stormy and dramatic life and his unswerving devotion to his ideals have made him one of the great cultural heroes of modern times, providing the most auspicious material for the 20th-century vogue in romanticized psychological biography.