Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
Custom Framed Vincent Van Gogh Paintings and Art Prints
At Framed-Arts.com, we offer a wide selection of custom framed Vincent Van Gogh paintings, from Starry Night to Wheat Field with Crows. The Van Gogh art works we feature can be browsed from our custom search page, while this page contains facts about Vincent Van Gogh’s art and a short biography of his life. Read on to find out about the Dutch artist’s relationship with his brother Theo, and for facts about the impact Vincent Van Gogh had on future generations in only ten short years as a working artist.
A Short Biography of Vincent Van Gogh
Born on March 30, 1853, Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist whose paintings and drawings include some of the world's most popular, famous and expensive works. A pioneer of an art form that came to be known as Expressionism, Van Gogh had an enormous influence on 20th century art, particularly on the Fauves and German Expressionists.
As a young man, Van Gogh worked briefly as an art dealer, teacher, and missionary. He did not begin his artistic career until the age of 27, in1880. Initially, Van Gogh painted mainly with somber colors. But after he encountered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism, he began to incorporate brighter colors, and used the Impressionist style of painting to develop a unique style all his own, which fully matured during his time in Arles, France, in 1888-89.
Between 1880 and his early death in 1890, Van Gogh produced more than 2,000 works, including close to 900 paintings and 1,100 sketched and drawings. Most of his best-known works were produced in the final two years of his life, during which he suffered from recurring bouts of mental illness that eventually led to his suicide.
The central figure in Van Gogh's life was his younger brother Theo, who provided financial support for Vincent throughout his artistic career. Their lifelong friendship is documented in the numerous letters the brothers exchanged from August 1872 onwards.
Facts About Vincent Van Gogh’s Art Work
While a schoolboy, Van Gogh drew and painted watercolors, though very few of these works survive. When he committed himself to art as an adult in 1880, he began by copying the paintings in the "Cours de Dessin," edited by Charles Bargue. Within two years of beginning to paint, he started to seek out commissions, In the spring of 1882, Van Gogh’s uncle, Cornelis Marinus (owner of an art gallery in Amsterdam) asked him to provide drawings of the Hague. Though the new artist’s work did not prove up to his uncle's expectations, Marinus offered Vincent a second commission. This time he described what he wanted in great detail, but once again, he was disappointed with the result.
Despite this early discouragement, Van Gogh persevered with his work. He improved the lighting of the studio where he painted, and experimented with a variety of drawing materials. For more than a year he worked hard on highly elaborate studies of single figures in black and white, which gained him much criticism at the time. Now these drawings are regarded as his first masterpieces. In spring 1883, he embarked on multi-figure compositions in the same style. He photographed a few, but when his brother criticized the pieces, Vincent destroyed them and turned to oil painting.
Theo’s financial contributions had enabled Vincent to do his first paintings, but the amount Theo could supply was soon spent. In spring 1883, Vincent sought and received support from renowned Hague School artists Weissenbruch, Blommers, De Bock and Van der Weele. Later, he moved to Nuenen, and started various larger size paintings, but destroyed most of these pieces himself. The Potato Eaters, The Old Tower on the Nuenen Cemetery and The Cottage are the likely the only works from this period to survive.
During a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Vincent became aware that many pf the problems in his paintings were due to a lack of technical experience. He decided to move first to Antwerp and later to Paris to try to improve his technical skill. In Paris, Van Gogh became acquainted with Impressionist and Post-Impressionist techniques and theories. In 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles and worked to develop a new style. Within a short time, however, some of his former ideas on art reemerged in his painting, such as the idea of creating a series of paintings based on related or contrasting subject matter in order to reflect the purpose of art.
In spring 1888, Van Gogh arranged his Flowering Orchards into triptychs. He also began work on a series of figures which found its end in The Roulin Family. After Gauguin consented to work and live in Arles with Vincent, Van Gogh started work on The Decoration for the Yellow House, probably the most ambitious effort he ever undertook. Much of his work after this series elaborated on or revised its basic principles.
But the mental instability that had shadowed Vincent for much of his adult life reached a crisis point in late 1888, when he threatened Gauguin with a razor and cut off part of his own ear. Gauguin returned to Paris, and Van Gogh was hospitalized briefly. Five months later, in May 1889, he committed himself to the mental hospital of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in Saint Rémy de Provence, a town not far from Arles The paintings from Van Gogh’s Saint-Rémy period are noticeably characterized by swirls and spirals, as in one of this best-known works, The Starry Night. The patterns of luminosity in these images have been shown to conform to 20th century Soviet mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov's statistical model of turbulence. One of Van Gogh’s favorite subjects was the view from his window wherever he happened to live. In the final year of his life, he produced a series of paintings of a wheat field he could see from his room in the asylum at Saint-Rémy, including his well-known Wheat Field with Crows.
Van Gogh’s Legacy
Vincent Van Gogh spent his final months in Auvers-sur-Oise. But his depression couldn’t be controlled, and on 27 July 1890, at the age of 37, he walked into the fields near town and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died in his bed at the Ravoux Inn two days later. Theo was at his side when he died, and later reported Vincent’s final words as "The sadness will last forever." Vincent was buried at the cemetery of Auvers-sur-Oise. Theo, who had contracted syphilis died six months later at Utrecht. Nearly twenty-five years later, Theo's body was exhumed and re-buried beside Vincent.
From his first exhibits in the late 1880s, Van Gogh's reputation grew steadily among art critics, dealers, collectors, and fellow artists. However, it wasn’t until after he died that his paintings and drawings received international acclaim. Shortly after his death, memorial exhibitions were mounted in Brussels, Paris, The Hague and Antwerp. Later, between 1901 and 1914, vast retrospective exhibitions were held in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, New York City and Berlin. Van Gogh’s posthumous visibility noticeably impacted a new generation of artists, including the French Fauves, German Expressionists, and even the Abstract Expressionists.
Facts About Vincent Van Gogh and his Art Work
We hope this short Vincent Van Gogh biography has provided insight into his body of work. You can browse our selection of Vincent Van Gogh paintings (Wheat Field with Crows, Starry Night, and others) by visiting our custom search page. Happy print shopping, and be sure to contact us with any questions.