Vincent Van Gogh, now considered the most influential painter of modern era, was a troubled melancholic and self-taught artist who took art work as his life vest. The recognition of his career, style and meaning behind every painting became public in the beginning of 1900s.
As for the art movement that surrounded him and also influenced his own tendency in art,The Impressionism, did not completely define him as a painter. In fact, later on scholars and analyst stated that Van Gogh style was unique given that his artwork inspired many other artists to follow his technique, use of bold colors and later created what is now known as Post-impressionism.
Setting aside his off-balanced mental health, the artist Vincent Van Gogh was very passionate and innovative in his bold techniques who forged his own style by going beyond the art tendency of his own time. Sadly, his groundbreaking style did no gain him many followers in his lifetime, but his work outlived him and built up a legacy that placed him as one of the most important figures of modern art.
Early Life and Choice of Career
Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born in March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert a small town in Holland. He was the first living son of Theodorus Van Gogh- a Protestant minister- and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. His early life was marked by sadness as he was born a year after his stillborn elder brother with whom he shared both the name and birthdate.
As he grew up, he became involved in his uncle’s family business in a brief period in an art dealership; however, due to a heartbreaking episode in his love life, Van Gogh decided to do religious work and so follow his father’s footsteps. Nonetheless, this period as a religious leader in the evangelical community was very short as they decided not to renovate his license due to his martyrdom lifestyle.
Therefore, Vincent Van Gogh decided to turn to art putting his abilities and talents for drawing, nature and love for watercolors to work. This sensitive and artistic side was inherited from her mother who was a moody artist. The first sketches and paintings ever recorded date from 1881 in Brussels where he moved to be an artist supported by his brother Theo.
In this period in Brussels, Van Gogh decided to take lessons on his own through reading and studying books such as Travaux des champs by Jean-François Millet and Cours de dessin by Charles Bargue. Then, he would enroll in art academies but never stayed the entire year in school.
Vincent van Gogh’s Masterpieces
In 1885 at age 32, van Gogh painted what many consider his first masterpiece “Potato Eaters”. This painting carries the influence of the first great Dutch artist, Rembrandt, due to the shadows that covered the painting setting and his choice of colors. The piece portrays a peasant family reunited at a dinner table sharing a heaped potato plate. Van Gogh staying true to his close relation to the peasants and their austerity decides to use them as a window to portray his social and moral feelings.
In 1888 van Gogh was living in France in a city named Arles, there he spent time with the very talented Paul Gauguin. Once there, he painted his famous “Yellow House” a property that he partially rented to live in and practice his art in his studio with other great artists. What makes this painting wonderful is that it reflects his vision, mainly yellow, some say that the author suffered from a medical condition called xanthopsia.
In September 1888 before Van Gogh’s first attract he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone, the first of three Starry Night painting he would paint before his death. This painting is a shining night over the banks of the river, three boats, and two lovers. The light’s reflection on the water of the Rhone river which also mirrored the many brilliant stars up in the dark blue sky, was an image that was hunting the Dutch artist for months. As a result, both mystery and depth are the words that escort this masterpiece.
In 1889, the brilliant portray of “Irises” comes to life in van Gogh’s hands. This painting comes from the artist downfall as he just had been put in an asylum for cutting off a part of his ear; plus, the people in Arles made a request to put him there as they thought he was a dangerous man. However, in this painting there is joy, admiration and details. Unlike the spot-like representation of flowers in the Impressionism, Van Gogh depicted them with precise clarity and high detail using blue, green, read, yellow and white.
Vincent Van Gogh died on July 29, 1890, at 37 years old because of a suicide attempt. In early July, days prior to his death, the artist painted Wheatfield with Crow.