Vincent Willem Van Gogh Biography


On March 30, 1853 Vincent Willem van Gogh was born the eldest son of the Reverend Theodorus van Gogh and Anna Cornelia Carbentus in Brabant Zundert. He had two brothers and three sisters: Anna Cornelia (Anna) (1855-1930), Elizabeth Huberta (Lies) (1859-1936), Theodore (Theo) (1857-1891), Willemien Jacoba (Wil) (1862-1941) Vincent and Cornelis (Cor) (1867-1900).

Vincent van Gogh 1866
Vincent van Gogh 1866

After a fragmentary education, he became in 1869 clerk of the Hague branch of French art and print trade Goupil & Cie, of which his uncle Vincent van Gogh (1820-1888) was a co-partner. There he developed his knowledge of the fine arts.

In 1876 he was dismissed and he was trying to earn as a teacher and preacher in the English Ramsgate (1876) and later as an assistant in a bookshop in Dordrecht (1877). Vain costs after this last failure, Van Gogh, like his father, decided to study theology in Amsterdam, but even before the exam he would quit. His subsequent appointment as evangelist of poor miners in the Belgian Borinage (1879) was also unsuccessful. Van Gogh was desperate. Eventually advised his brother Theo, who had since 1873 also at Goupil employed him to become an artist.

Dutch period

Van Gogh made himself the principles of drawing their own through self-study and copying examples. After he had established in early 1881 with his parents in Etten (Noord-Brabant), he was inspired by the countryside and the local peasantry, the example of the painter Jean-François Millet (1814-1875).

Vincent van Gogh 1872
Vincent van Gogh 1872

Late 1881, Van Gogh moved to The Hague, where he took drawing and painting lessons from Anton Mauve (1838-1888), member of the Hague School. Since Van Gogh came to the realization that he wanted to leave him, in imitation of Millet, as peasant to develop town

After the break with Sien Hoornik (1850-1904), a former prostitute with whom he had lived since 1882, he moved to the end of 1883 Drenthe. There he studied for three months the landscape and rural life. During his stay in Nuenen (1883-1885) continued this his favorite themes. He wrote a lot about his ideas with fellow painter Anthon van Rappard (1858-1892).

Painting became his main goal. Besides making studies, he also tried to complete the plan to sell them. Fully fledged paintings The Potato Eaters (1885) this is the first tangible result.

To Paris

In 1885, Van Gogh moved to Antwerp, where he took lessons briefly at the academy. But the traditional teaching methods angered him as fast. In late February 1886, he moved to Paris where he moved in with Theo who supported him financially since 1881. Here he came into contact with Impressionism. A short period he worked in the studio of Fernand Cormon where he met with contemporary artists such as Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Emile Bernard.

Vincent van Gogh 1886
Vincent van Gogh 1886

Studio of the South

Starting in 1888, Van Gogh fled the busy city life and moved to Arles in southern France. He had grown into a mature artist with your own style of painting. Theo Van Gogh supported morally and financially. In return, he was sent to Van Gogh’s work, because they were both convinced that they could contribute to modern art.

It was a big dream of Van Gogh to form a community of artists in the South the Studio of the South, with Paul Gauguin (1849-1903) as a guide. In October 1888 Gauguin moved in with him in the Yellow House in Arles. The fellow artists painted together and discuss art but soon caused tensions between the pair. In the confused state Van Gogh cut with a razor his left earlobe. As a result, he spent some time in the hospital in Arles.

After that failed, the Van Gogh to get his life back in order and he was in April 1889 voluntarily to a psychiatric clinic in the nearby Saint-Rémy.

Vincent van Gogh's tomb
Vincent van Gogh’s tomb

Back to the north

In May 1890, he left the facility and settled in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. Here he painted again at a feverish pace, the countryside and rural life. On July 27, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest, in a field near the village. Two days later he died in the presence of Theo.

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