Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

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Vincent Willem van Gogh
Born in Zundert, Noord-Brabant, Nederlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Auvers-sur-Oise, Seine-et-Oise, Île-de-France, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Mar 2015 | Last significant change: 10 Dec 2018
15:48: Nicolas LaPointe edited the Biography for Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890). [Thank Nicolas for this]
This page has been accessed 3,302 times.

Categories: Nederlanders uit Noord-Brabant na 1811 | Dutch Artists | Painters | Schilders | This Day In History March 30 | This Day In History July 29 | Dutch Notables.

Vincent van Gogh:

"A good picture is equivalent to a good deed." [1]


Vincent van Gogh is Notable.

Vincent van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, although he remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.[2]

Vincent van Gogh was born Vincent Willem van Gogh on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, the son of Theodorus van Gogh and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Vincent's father was an austere country preacher. His mother was a moody artist, the living prediction of his future temperament.[3]

Image:Van Gogh-1-3.jpg

Van Gogh was born exactly one year after his parents' first son, also named Vincent, was stillborn. At a young age—his name and birthdate already etched on his dead brother's headstone—van Gogh was melancholy. [4]

Vincent went to school and learned several languages. When his father's lack of income necessitated his return, Vincent was sent to work in his uncle's art gallery at Den Hague. He soon grew tired of this and began to study theology.

Vincent did not think that Latin was a language for preaching to the poor. During this period, he worked as a missionary in a coal mining community living with hard working poor common people, speaking a language they understood. He grew less and less interested in theology and more and more interested in people. This is where his artist career was inspired.

In 1880, at 27 years old, Van Gogh entered the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. He had little success at first. He lived in Amsterdam during this time reportedly falling in love and having no success with that either. And then he painted The Potato Eaters.

Image:Van Gogh-1-4.jpg

Van Gogh’s Potato Eaters, his first major work, was painted in 1885. He had watched hard working farm families go about their daily routine and wanted to illustrate their connection to the earth. [5]

He was now fully devoting himself to painting: living frugally, studying color theory, and admiring the works of his contemporaries. His paintings just didn't sell. His brother Theo, an art dealer and the recipient of many letters from Vincent, commented that there should be more color in his work. Van Gogh was painting peasants and rural landscapes using dark earth tones. Around this same time, Impressionism, with its bright vivid colors, was becoming popular. Vincent's brother encouraged him to paint what was popular.

Vincent moved to Paris. He was surrounded by works of impressionistic artists such as Gauguin, Bernard, and Toulouse-Lautrec. He was using more color, applying the paint with thick, bold brushstrokes. He arranged a show which received positive reviews but still no one would buy his work.

Vincent began to decline mentally and physically

Image: Gogh-8-1.jpg

A local newspaper report dated 30 December 1888 recording Vincent's self-mutilation:

"Last Sunday night at half past eleven a painter named Vincent Vangogh, appeared at the maison de tolérance No 1, asked for a girl called Rachel, and handed her ... his ear with these words: 'Keep this object like a treasure.' Then he disappeared. The police, informed of these events, which could only be the work of an unfortunate madman, looked the next morning for this individual, whom they found in bed with scarcely a sign of life.The poor man was taken to hospital without delay."

It is reported that a falling out with his friend Gauguin precipitated this event. The hospital diagnosis was "generalized delirium", and within a few days van Gogh was involuntarily committed.[6] van Gogh continued to suffer with mental illness and physical decline while he struggled to progress as an artist.[7]

One of Van Gogh’s dreams as an artist was to start a colony for artists in Arles in the south of France. Vincent moved to Arles where he was joined by Gauguin. While there, Van Gogh entered the most productive and creative period of his life painting his famous Sunflowers. However, it also was a time of great turmoil for Vincent beginning a period of hospital stays for mental illness and physical decline.[8]. These may have included "regular awakening experiences rather than wakefulness as an ongoing state"[9].

Image:Van Gogh-1-5.jpg

Vincent actually started the Sunflower Series in Paris and continues to pain them after he moved. Vincent became more prolific and creative, despite his illness and produced paintings that are now recognized as works of genius, across all cultures. His most renowned work is of course The Starry Night.

In 1890, after just ten years of painting Vincent van Gogh took his own life. He is buried beside his brother Theo at Auvers-sur-Oise Town Cemetery, Auvers-sur-Oise, Departement du Val-d'Oise, Île-de-France, France.[10][11]

Vincent van Gogh never achieved success in his lifetime. He painted over 900 paintings. Ironically, it wouldn’t take long for the art world to recognize the genius they lost. Within 20 years of his death he had become famous. [12]

Image:Van Gogh-1-7.jpg

Listen to Don McLean sing Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).

For Children

Image:Van Gogh-1-6.jpg

Muppet Sky with Elmo and Dorothy the Fish

Paint like van Gogh

van Gogh Style Finger Painting


  1. Vincent van Gogh Gallery.
  2. Wikipedia Vincent Van Gogh.
  3. Biography: Vincent van Gogh.
  4. Biography: Vincent van Gogh.
  5. How Stuff Works: The Potato Eaters
  6. van Gogh, the Letters
  7. Wikipedia:Vincent van Gogh.
  8. Biography: Vincent van Gogh.
  9. Steve Taylor, 2017, "The Leap: The psychology of spiritual awakening", An Eckhart Tolle Edition, New World Library, Novato, California
  10. Find A Grave.
  11. acte de décès: Auvers-sur-Oise, REGISTRE D'ETAT CIVIL, 1889-1894, Cote 3E12 50, acte 60, vue 75, consulté le 28 octobre 2017. Lien permanent:
  12. Complete Catalog of Paintings by van Gogh.

See also:

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No known carriers of Vincent's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 12
Vincent Van Gogh Age 19
Vincent Van Gogh Age 19

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait with Straw Hat
Self Portrait with Straw Hat

Bedroom in Arles
Bedroom in Arles

Portrait of Dr. Gachet
Portrait of Dr. Gachet

view all

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On 26 Dec 2014 at 21:24 GMT Gillian Wagenaar wrote:

Van Gogh-27 and Gogh-8 appear to represent the same person because: They've been doubled!

On 3 Aug 2014 at 09:22 GMT Paula J wrote:

Is it okay with you if I nominate your profile for profile of the week?

Vincent is 37 degrees from Rosa Parks, 32 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 30 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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