Born in Zundert, the Netherlands on March 30th, 1853, Vincent van Gogh is worldly famous not only for his art, but for cutting his ear off too. In his short 37 years of life, he created about 2.100 works of art. Most of which have been made during the last two years of his life.

How Vincent van Gogh became an artist

Van Gogh was born into an upper-middle-class family. He began working as an art dealer, often traveling. After becoming depressed he turned to religion, and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He took up painting in 1881. In 1886, he travelled to Paris and visited the eighth Impressionist exhibition. He hoped to use his painting The Potato Eaters to make his reputation. Van Gogh realized that, though his work was original, it was out of step with modern trends. He stuck to a limited colour palette of browns and blue-greens with his painting of The Potato Eaters. With the way he painted the dim lamplight and their distorted faces, Van Gogh tried to convey that poverty and hard physical labour stunt the human mind. He wrote to his brother that with this painting he wanted to show that ‘those people, eating their potatoes in the lamplight, have dug the earth with those very hands they put in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labour, and how they have honestly earned their food.’

Later painting styles development

About a year later, Van Gogh adopted the Pointillist method of the Neo-Impressionists. His painting Interior of a Restaurant, painted during the spring of 1887, shows this perfectly. With this piece Van Gogh completely stepped away from the dark Potato Eaters. Van Gogh continued to develop his work, as can be seen in his piece The Italian Woman. Painted about six months after Interior of a Restaurant, for this work he used short, straight strokes that suggest volume and texture. The way he painted the Italian woman’s face could possibly be inspired by his renewed enthusiasm for Japanese prints.

After having a series of seizures led him to commit himself to an asylum in France, Van Gogh’s painting took a darker turn. It was in this asylum that he painted the famous Starry Night. The painting contains several images that Van Gogh associated with death. The dark cypress tree on the foreground typically surrounded graveyards in southern France. As for the stars, the painter once wrote his brother saying that he thinks the stars are the final destination of man after death.

Mental health issues

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions, though he worried about it, he usually chose to neglect his physical health. He severed part of his left ear after he got in a fight with fellow artist Paul Gaugin, which involved a razor. According to most sources and (history)books, on July 27th, 1890 Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a gun. Two days later, he died from his injuries. However, in a biography on Van Gogh’s life in 2011, the authors formed a hypothesis in which the artist was accidentally killed by a few boys playing cowboy with a malfunctioning gun. They questioned how Van Gogh could have had access to a revolver, as well as how he could walk a mile from the wheat field to the asylum with a fatal stomach wound.

The museums to find Vincent van Gogh in

In Amsterdam, on the Paulus Potterstraat 7, you can visit the Van Gogh Museum. This museum is solely dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh. It holds the largest collection of the artist’s paintings and drawings in the world. The museum holds worldly famous pieces such as Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, The Yellow House, and Almond Blossoms.
Discover Vincent van Gogh’s eventful life, read stories about important aspect of his life and work, and admire his many self-portraits. Aside from the impressive and wonderful collection of artworks by Van Gogh himself, the museum offers a fine collection by his friends, such as Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard.

The Van Gogh Museum is not the only museum with an exquisite collection. The second largest collection of Van Gogh art can be found in the Kröller-Müller Museum. This museum is located in the National Park De Hoge Veluwe. In this museum, you can not only view Van Gogh’s work. You can also see the works of modern masters, such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Piet Mondriaan. What makes this museum stand out, is its sculpture garden. With over 160 sculptures by artists like Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Huyghe, the Kröller-Müller Museum has one of the biggest sculpture gardens

Het is de missie van MuseumTV om een zo breed mogelijk publiek in aanraking te brengen met kunst en cultuur. Dit doen wij op ons gezamenlijke video on demand-platform voor de Nederlandse musea. Via onze partners brengen wij het platform actief onder de aandacht van het Nederlandse publiek. MuseumTV is onderdeel van Museumtijdschrift.


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