How did Vincent Van Gogh paint

Vincent van Gogh: Biography & Works

The Dutch painter and draftsman Vincent van Gogh created almost 900 paintings and over 1000 drawings, with which he founded modern painting. Read more about his turbulent life here

Vincent van Gogh

  • Life data: March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Quote:"Some people have a great fire in their souls and no one comes to warm themselves."

Vincent van Gogh is considered to be the founder of modern art. He created almost 900 paintings and over 1000 drawings.

How Vincent van Gogh lived

Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in the Dutch town of Groot-Zundert. As a child he was not even interested in art, but years later his hometown Groot-Zundert appeared very often as a motif in his works. Van Gogh grew up as the son of a pastor and a bookbinder with five siblings. The boy first goes to boarding school, where he learns French, English and German as well as drawing.

After leaving school earlier than planned, he began training in July 1869 at the Goupil & Co art dealer in The Hague, the Netherlands. He is then transferred to the London branch, where he feels lonely and uncomfortable. His dissatisfaction can now be found in many of the drawings the artist made during his time in England.

Vincent van Gogh decides to be transferred to Paris. When he arrived in Paris, the artist tried out different professions. He becomes an assistant teacher, then a pastor, later a preacher, finally a volunteer in a bookstore and begins briefly studying theology, for which he moves back to the Netherlands.

It was not until the autumn of 1880, when Vincent van Gogh was 27 years old, that he decided to become a painter.

How Vincent van Gogh changed the world

With his brother Theo, who runs the Paris branch of the Goupil & Co. art dealer, he agrees to sell his paintings. But Vincent van Gogh cannot handle the money he and his brother Theo earn and therefore lives in constant poverty. He moved to Brussels in 1880 to come into contact with artists and learn the painting trade.

There he mainly draws landscape motifs and rural workers. Back in the Netherlands, van Gogh experienced one of the most important phases of his life. In the city of Nuenen he paints over 180 paintings. In 1885 he created one of his main works: the potato eaters.

When van Gogh was 32 years old, he moved to Antwerp in the Netherlands and later to Paris, where he was closer to his brother and dealer Theo again. Under the impression of Impressionism, the then current art style, the painter began to experiment with colors and various techniques.

A few years later he was attracted to the south of France, where he wanted to find the most beautiful colors of nature for his paintings in Arles. The Dutch painter is very productive here and, under the influence of impressionism, creates almost 190 paintings, including the famous sunflower pictures.

Why Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear

But this is also where his illness breaks out. Doctors found severe delusions and nightmares in him, which from then on increasingly prevented him from painting and drawing freely. After an argument with his artist friend Paul Gauguin, van Gogh cut off part of his left ear in October 1888.

On the advice of the citizens of Arles, van Gogh was sent to a mental hospital, where he had no choice but to paint self-portraits or the later very famous Starry Night.

In the spring of 1890 he was allowed to leave the institution because an art lover and doctor wanted to take care of him. Van Gogh spent the last years of his life in Paris until he died under unknown circumstances on July 27, 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise, a small town north of Paris.

The painter's turbulent life had a strong influence on his paintings. Above all, he made the world of ordinary people, i.e. farmers and craftsmen, his motifs. He painted these quickly, spontaneously and without subsequent corrections. Vincent van Gogh's works became famous immediately after his death.

The first major exhibitions across Europe took place in 1901, 1905 and 1912, whereupon modern artists felt inspired by his style and copied the way of painting and drawing from him. Vincent van Gogh thus introduced the modern art style.

Vincent van Gogh: Works by the Painter

Vincent Van Gogh had very little economic success with his paintings during his lifetime. He only sold a few paintings, including the painting "The Red Vineyard".

It was only after the painter's death that Vincent Van Gogh's masterpieces achieved record sums at auctions and are still coveted collectors' items today. For example, his last self-portrait, completed in 1889, sold for a whopping $ 71 million.

The following 15 paintings are among the most famous and sought-after works by Vincent van Gogh:

  1. "Sunflowers" (1888)
  2. "The Night Cafe" (1888)
  3. "Starry Night" (1889)
  4. "Grain field with ravens" (1890)
  5. "The Potato Eaters" (1885)
  6. "Bedroom in Arles" (1889)
  7. "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" (1890)
  8. "Peach Tree" (1888)
  9. "Plain of Crau" (1888)
  10. Boats from Saintes-Maries (1888)
  11. "The Church of Auvers" (1890)
  12. "Irises" (1889)
  13. "The Yellow House" (1888)
  14. "Starry Night over the Rhone" (1889)
  15. "Wheatfield with Cyresses" (1889)