Featured artist of the week Vincent Van Gogh

Born: March 30, 1853 , Zundert Netherlands

Died: July 29th, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, France

Siblings: Theo Van Gogh, Elisabeth Huberta Du Quesne-Van Gogh, Wil Van Gogh, Cor Van Gogh, Anna Cornelia Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was said to be a quiet serious and thoughtful as a child. Van Goghs mother has been referenced as a rigid and religious woman who emphasized the importance of family , so much so that those around her described the feeling as claustrophobic. It was his mother that taught Van Gogh at home with some help from the governess and in 1860 when he was sent to a boarding school he felt abandoned and he tried his best to be allowed to come home. Instead of allowing him to come home they placed him in middle school in Tilburg where he fell into deep unhappiness. In this unhappiness Van Gogh found his love for drawing and his mother herself encouraged his drawing. His early drawings where expressive but are lacking the intensity of his later works.

In the middle school in Tilburg Van Gogh was taught by a successful artist Constant Cornelis Huijsmans. His philosophy was rejecting technique in favor of capturing the impressions of things.However Van Goghs deep and profound unhappiness seemed to have overshadowed and the lessons had little effect. He expressed that his childhood was Austere and cold and sterile.

In 1869 Van Goghs uncle got a position for him at the art dealers Goupil & Cie in Hague. He completed his training in 1873 and was transferred to Goupils Londons branch on Southhampton Street and he rented a room on 87 Hackford Road, Stockwell. Vinvent Van Gogh was happy in this time of his life. He was successful at work and at 20 years old he was making more money than his father. Theo his brothers wife later remarked that it was the best year of Vincents life. During this happy time in Vincents life he became infatuated with his landladys daughter Eugenie Loyer. Van Gogh expressed his feelings he had to her , but he was rejected. It turns out that she was already secretly engaged to a former lodger. After this rejection Van Gogh grew more and more isolated and religiously fervent. His father and Uncle arranged for a transfer to Paris on 1875. In Paris he became resentful of issues like the degree to which the firm commodified art, and he was dismissed a year later.

In April 1876 he returned to England to take some unpaid work as a supply teacher in a small boarding school in Ramsgate. When the proprietor moved to Isleworth in Middlesex, Van Gogh went with him. This arrangement did not work out and Van Gogh moved on to become a Methodist ministers assistant. He then went home to his parents home for Christmas and stayed for 6 months and took work in a bookshop in Dordecht, He was unhappy in this position and spent his time doodling and translating the Bible into English, French, and Dutch. He was immersing himself in religion and became more and more pious and monastic. According to his room mate at the time Paulus Van Gorlitz, Van Gogh ate very frugally, avoiding meat.

To support Van Goghs religious conviction and his desire to become a pastor, in 1877 the family sent him to live with his Uncle Johannes Stricker, a respected theologian, in Amsterdam. Van Gogh prepared for the entrance examination and he failed the exam. He left his uncles house in July 1878. He undertook but failed again a three month course at a protestant missionary school in Laken near Brussels.

In January 1879 Van Gogh took up post as a missionary at Petit-Wasmes in the coal mining district of Borinage in Belgium. To show support for his impoverished congregation he have up his comfortable lodgings at a bakery to a homeless person and moved into a small straw hut, where he slept on straw. His squalid living conditions did not endear him to the church authorities who dismissed him for undermining the dignity of the priesthood. Finding himself again living with his parents, Which was a cause of concern for his parents. His father was especially frustrated and advised that his son be committed to the lunatic asylum.

In 1880 Van Gogh retuened to Cuesmes where he lodged with a miner until October. In this period of Van Goghs life he became interested in the people and scenes around him, and he would record them by drawing them. His brother Theo advised Van Gogh to go take up art with earnest and Van Gogh traveled to Brussels later that year to study with the Dutch artist Willem Roelofs. Roelofs persuaded Van Gogh to attend the Academie Royal Beaux Arts. There he studied anatomy and the standard rules of modelling and perspective. Van Gogh had a case of Gonnorhoea and spent three weeks in the hospital. Soon after this unfortunate event is when he began to paint in oils. He really liked to paint with oils and said that he would scrape the oils back and forth and working back with the brush and was surprised at how good the results where.

By 1882 Van Goghs cousin Mauve had learned about his arrangement with a alcoholic prostitute named Sien and her 5 year old daughter. On July 2nd she gave birth to a baby boy Willem. When Van Goghs father discovered the details of their relationship he convinced his son to abandon Sien and her two children. Van Goagh agreed after time and in 1883 he left Sien and the children.Sien then gave her daughter to her mother and baby Willem to her brother Willem. Sein later drowned herself in the River Scheidt in 1904.

Van Gogh in Nuenen focused on painting and drawing. Working outside and very quickly he completed sketches and paintings of weavers and their cottages. In 1884 Margot Begemann a neighbors daughter began tp join Van Gogh on his forays and she fell in love. She was 10 years his senior and even though Van Gogh did reciprocated his was less enthusiastic then Margot. They wanted to marry but both families where against it. Margot was so distraught she took an overdose of strychnine. She survived thanks to Van Gogh rushing her to a nearby hospital. But then more tragedy struck Van Goghs father died on March 26th 1885 of a heart attack.

Van Gogh had painted nearly 200 oil paintings and water colors with his palette containing mostly dark brown, earth tones and showed no signs of vivid colors that distinguished his later work. In November he moved to Antwerp and rented a room above a paint dealers shop. He lived in poverty there preferring to spend the money his brother Theo sent him om paint supplies. Bread, coffee and tobacco became his staple diet. His teeth became loose and painful but Van Gogh still focused and broadened his palatte to include colors such as Cobalt blue, Carmine, and Emerald green. Van Gogh was drinking heavily at this point and was hospitalised and also treated for syphilis. After his recovery he took enrolled at the Academy of fine arts in Antwerp in 1886. He became very ill and run down due to overwork, poor diet , and excessive smoking. He began to get in trouble with Charles Verlat the director of the academy and teacher of the painting class. They clashed because of Van Goes unusual painting style.

in 1886 Van Gogh moved to Paris where he shared his brother Theos apartment in Montmartre and studied at Fernand Cormons studio. In Paris Van Gogh painted portraits of friends and acquaintances, still life paintings, views of Le moulin de la Galette and along the Seine. After seeing a portrait of Adolphe Monticelli at the Galerie Delareybarette, Van Gogh adopted a brighter palette and a bolder attack. Especially in paintings such as his Seascape at Saintes Maries in 1888. At the end of 1886 Theo found that living with Van Gogh was almost unbearable. Conflicts arose between the brothers but by the early 1887 the brothers were again at peace. Van Gogh also got to know Signac. He adopted elements of pointillism, a technique in which a multitude of small colored dots are applied to the canvas so that when seen from a distance they create an optical blend of hues. Around the end of the year Van Gogh arranged an exhibition along side Berard, Anquetin at the Grand-Bouillon Restaurant du Chalet, 43 avenue de Clichy. Van Gogh recieved a complimentary comment where Bernard wrote that the exhibition was ahead of anything else in Paris. In 1888 feeling worn out from life in Paris Van Gogh left Paris having painted more than 200 paintings during his two years there.

Sick from drinking and smokers cough in February 1888 Van Gogh looked for refuge in Aries. The Danish artist Christian Mourier- Petersen became his companion for two months and at first Aries seemed exotic. The time Van Gogh spent in Aries became one of his most prolific periods. He completed 200 paintings and more than 100 drawings and watercolors. He was enchanted by the local countryside and light. His works from this period are rich in yellow, ultra marine, and mauve.

After much pleading from Van Gogh his friend Gauguin arrived in Aries in October and in November the two of them painted together.They had may adventures and trials together. In December 1888 Van Gogh and Gauguin visited Montellier where they saw the works of Courbet and Delacroix. Yet their relationship began to deteriorate. Van Gogh admired Gauguin and wanted to be treated as his equal but Gauguin was arrogant and domineering, this frustrated Van Gogh. They began to quarrell often and Van Gogh feared more and more that Gauguin was going to desert him.

The exact series of unfortunate events that led to Van Gogh to mutilate his own ear are unknown. After a fight with Gauguin Van Gogh returned to his room where he said he was assaulted by voices and severed his left ear with a razor causing severe bleeding. He then bandaged the wound and wrapped the ear in paper and delivered the package to a woman at a brothel Van Gogh and Gauguin both frequented. Van Gogh had no memory of the event suggesting that he might have suffered an acute mental breakdown. The local police ordered that he be placed in hospital care. His brother Theo came to comfort Van Gogh who seemed to be semi- lucid and that same evening Theo left to return to Paris. Despite the grim diagnosis Van Gogh made a recovery and returned to the Yellow house on January 1889. He spent the following months between home and hospital suffering from hallucinations and delusions of poisoning. In March the police closed his house after a petition from 30 towns people who described as the red headed madman. Two months later he left Aries and voluntarily entered an asylum.

On July 1890 Vincent Van Gogh was believed to have shoy himself in the chest with a 7 mm revolver. There where no whitnesses and he died 30 hours after the incident.Van Goghs last words to his brother were ¨ The sadness will go on forever. ¨ Van Gogh was buried on July 30th in the munincipal cemetery of Auvers-sur-Oise.

Van Goghs stylistic developments are usually linked to the periods he spent living in different places across Europe. He was inclined to immerse himself in local cultures and lighting conditions. Although he maintained a highly individual visual outlook throughout.

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