ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Van Gogh
"It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to.... The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures." -Van Gogh
Farmhouse in Provence, 1888
Vincent van Gogh, one of the most well-known post-impressionist artists was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853.
The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent believed that his true calling was to preach the gospel. However, after many years of trial and error, he discovered his calling as an artist in 1880.
After studying art in Belgium, in 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil's gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, and inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin. Unable to successfully copy the impressionist style, he developed his own more bold and unconventional style. In 1888, van Gogh decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art.
Gauguin did join him, however, van Gogh’s nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. Near the end of 1888, an incident led Gauguin to ultimately leave Arles. Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his own ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy.
In May of 1890, after a couple of years at the asylum, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later, he died from what is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brush stroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's fusion of form and content is powerful, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
In spite of his lack of success during his lifetime, van Gogh’s legacy lives on having left a lasting impact on the world of art.
Starry Night Over the Rhône, 1888
Below are a few of our favorite van Gogh inspired products from teNeues!
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Biography credit: https://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/biography.html