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15 Things You Must Know About Vincent Van Gogh

The legendary artist Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30th, 1853 in Zundert Netherlands. Vincent was a dutch post-impressionist painter who though remaining undiscovered and unappreciated in his short life is now considered to be one of the most famous and influential artistic figures in the history of Western art. Perhaps one of the saddest figures in art history van Gogh took his own life at the age of 37 following many years of poverty and mental health problems. But we are here to celebrate his genius with 15 things you didn’t know about Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh.

 

1. There Were Actually Four Vincent van Gogh 

Though we can surely state that our Vincent van Gogh is a true one-in-a-million, the truth is that the Dutch artist was named after an older brother who was tragically stillborn. This lost brother in turn named after their grandfather also named Vincent van Gogh. And the name kept going down the family line when one of Vincent’s brothers Theo. Father’s a son and gave him the family name that seemed to be so popular. Van Gogh is still a common dutch surname to this day and we can only imagine how big the temptation must be for families to honor the iconic artist by naming their boys Vincent.

 

2. He Likely Suffered From Multiple Mental Illnesses 

We are all familiar with van Gogh as being a symbol of sadness and the tortured artist archetype but his problems ran much deeper than just common depression. While studying his life and condition modern psychiatrists have determined that van Gogh was likely to have suffered from a large array of conditions including schizophrenia syphilis Hypergraphia a manic depression temporal lobe epilepsy and Geschwind syndrome. Many also believe that van Gogh was autistic as several family accounts have shown him to be a nun communicative and clumsy child. It’s just a shame that such a genius talent and mind had to exist in the period where little help was available for his ailments.

 

3. He Didn’t Start Painting Until He Was 27 

The work of Van Gogh is an example to all of us who think it might be too late to follow their dreams. Though many art prodigies are famed for creating masterpieces in their childhood van Gogh didn’t put pencil or paint to paper until the age of 27. When he was thrown out of his family home after a series of failed and varied career accounts too poor to even afford a set of paints. He relied on a gift from his brother Theo the same brother who actually became responsible for helping van Gogh survive financially over the course of the next decade.

 

4. He Lived With And Loved A Prostitute

4. He Lived With And Loved A Prostitute

Van Gogh famously had deep and long-lasting crushes in his life including on a widowed cousin and an upper-class woman named Eugenia who was famously disinterested.

The love of his life, however, was a Dutch prostitute named Sien whom he lived with for some time. Van Gogh not only took care of Sien but he also took care of her baby helping to raise the child even though it was not his own.

Sien can be seen in many event gulfs sketched portraits but it is known that this love affair drove a wedge between Vincent and the rest of his family. And after some persuasion from his brother Theo Vincent left Sien in The Hague and moved to Drenthe. Something many believe he always regretted.

 

5. His Portrait Of Dr. Gachet Sold For $82.5 Million Dollars 

Alongside sunflowers and Starry Night, van gulfs painted a portrait of dr. Gachet is undoubted the artist’s most revered work. In his signature style, the oil on canvas painting depicts dr. Paul Gautier the man who took care of Vincent in the final few months of his life.

Interestingly there are two authenticated versions of this portrait both of which were painted in June 1890, in 1990 at an auction house in New York City. The first version of the portrait of dr. Gachet was sold for a record price of eighty-two point five million dollars, that’s one hundred and fifty 1.2 million dollars in today’s money, making it the 13th most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

 

6. He Was A Prolific Artist 

6. He Was A Prolific Artist 

During a career that lasted just over a decade, Van Gough created approximately 2,100 pieces of art. This collection included 860 oil paintings and many many sketched drawings. The bulk of his work was completed in France where he spent much of his life including the final two years. The paintings included landscape still lifes self-portraits and portraits of others with some of his most notable unmentioned works being sorrow and bedroom in Aires. When considered mathematically Van Gogh 20100 artworks over 10 years equates to four pieces per week, that is some pace compared to other revered artists like da Vinci for example.

 

7. The Sunflowers Made Art History 

Although by the prices most famous works of art such today 62 million dollars is lightweight when the painting based with 15 sunflowers was sold in 1987. It signified a new direction in art sales and collecting. This was the highest price paid for a painting that was not an old master tripling the previous record.

 

8. 4 Of The Top 30 Most Expensive Paintings In History Are By Van Gogh 

8. 4 Of The Top 30 Most Expensive Paintings In History Are By Van Gogh 

The four paintings by Van Gogh with the highest prices are the portrait of dr. Gachet sold for eighty-two point five million dollars in 1990.

The portrait of Joseph rule in Seoul for 58 million dollars plus the exchange of works in 1989. Irises 450 3.9 million in 1987. And portrait Dale artiste sambar Bay 470 1.5 million dollars in 1998.

The Afra mentioned vase with 15 sunflowers is number 46 on the list.

 

9. He Only Sold One Painting During His Lifetime 

Perhaps the most bittersweet fact of all it is believed that van Gogh only sold a single painting during the course of his life. Painted in 1888 the oil painting red vineyards near Aires was exhibited at the annual exhibition of Les plaintiff in Brussels in 1890 and was purchased by Anna Boch a fellow painter and art collector and friend of van Gogh for the sum of 400 francs. That amount equates to roughly $1,000 in today’s money. And the painting passed in the hands of a Russian collector named Sarah J Shooken before coming to its final resting place in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

 

10. His Time In Paris Turned Him Into A Master 

One viewpoint that is often a South by critics is that van Gogh was made into a true artistic master thanks to his two-year period in Paris France. Whilst van Gogh earlier paintings are rather somber in look and character the works produced between 1886 and 1888 like the sunflowers and self-portrait with a bandaged ear are full of color and thick with excessive oils. Almost a transition from sepia tones to glorious Technicolor van Gogh was sharing an apartment with his brother Theo at the time. And perhaps this period of relative stability helped his artistic senses to flourish.

 

11. He Was Made Famous By His Sister-In-Law 

11. He Was Made Famous By His Sister-In-Law 

Though it is hard to contemplate today the truth is that van Gogh remained an unknown artist throughout the entire course of his life. It was not until after his death and after the death of his brother Theo that his widowed sister-in-law Johanna made it her mission to spread his works across galleries and exhibitions.

Johanna inherited most of his pieces and when she died her son aptly named Vincent Jill to remember founded the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 1973 where most of his artwork still remains to this day.

 

12. He Was The First Selfie King 

12. He Was The First Selfie King 

Though selfies are obviously seen as a recent phenomenon thanks to the invention of front-facing cell phone cameras. There is a strong case to regard van Gogh as the original selfie king. In a period of three years during his decade-long art career then golf produced a total of 43 self-portraits.

Some art critics have labeled this excessive number as an exercise in artistic vanity. Others have argued that due to Van Gogh extreme poverty and dire financial situation one of the subjects that he could always really replicate without having to pay a model or buy props was himself. Due to his lack of interaction with people finding even friends to pose for him would have been a huge challenge.

 

13. He Painted Some Of His Iconic Works While In An Asylum 

Van Gogh had a significant mental breakdown in the winter of 1888 checking himself into the st. Paul Demma soul asylum shortly afterward. It was in this Asylum that he painted some of his most famous works most notably the amazing starry night, though the painting has come to be regarded as one of n golf’s very best. The truth is that the artist himself was not pleased with the final result. Van Gogh considered starry night to be a complete failure along with the rest of the pieces that he created in the asylum. We have to wonder whether his fragile mental state impeded his judgment at this time.

 

14. He Likely Had An Affair With Artist Paul Gauguin 

He likely had an affair with artist Paul Gauguin and he may have been the one who cut off van Gogh ear. While the long-term object of Van Gogh affection was Dutch prostitutes the end. Many believed that he also had a brief affair with the painter at Paul Gauguin the two lived as roommates in the South of France and van Gogh himself described their bond as being electric.

Though there was certainly affection between the two they shared the type of relationship that very often ventured into violence too. We have all heard different conflicting stories about the infamous act of van Gogh cutting his own ear off. The story goes that the two artists became involved in a raging argument that culminated in van Gogh slicing a portion of his own ear off. Later giving it to a prostitute however some scholars believe that go again an accomplished fencer in his day was actually responsible for the injury. Not wanting his roommate and sometime lover to go to jail they argue that van Gogh took the blame to avoid criminal charges.

 

15. There Is A Theory That Van Gogh Was Murdered 

15. There Is A Theory That Van Gogh Was Murdered 

Though the historical consensus has always been that van Gogh killed himself as a result of his poverty and his ailing mental health. There is doubt in some circles that the artists’ fatal gunshot wounds were self-inflicted. History tells us that van Gogh shot himself in the stomach in a field then walked a mile back to the inn in which he was staying to die.

However, some biographers believe that van Gogh was actually shot by a young teenager who used to incessantly mock him. They argue that given his mental state van Gogh might have seen this incident as a favor and therefore chose to die from his injuries rather than seek help. This theory is supported by the fact that there was no gun ever found nor were there painting supplies in the field that van Gogh came from.

Conclusion

He has been immortalized in film and music, Van Gogh has been the subject of several different songs and movies over the years. Some of the most notable being Don McClain’s song Vincent the 1954 film lust for Life starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh. The 1990 film Vincent and Theo that focused on the relationship of the two brothers. And a particularly touching episode of Doctor Who in 2010 which saw Van Gogh being brought into the present day to be able to see how beloved his works are compared to the anonymity in which he died.

artist, dutch, historical artist, starry night, starry night painting, van gogh, van gogh starry night, Vincent van gogh

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