Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born in March of 1853 to a Dutch Protestant pastor in Groot-Zundert ( Van Gogh ). He was a strange child who didn't talk much. His sister Elizabeth described him as " intensely serious and uncommunicative , and walked around clumsily in a daze , with his head hung low . " Not only were his sisters and brothers like strangers to him , but he was a stranger to himself . The family servant described the child as an " odd , aloof child who had queer manners and seemed more like an old man , than the child he was." Vincent was a disappointment to his mother and the entire family. Even his close brother and friend Theo , was disappointed in Van Gogh . Vincent described his own childhood as " gloomy , cold , and sterile " ( Butterfield ) .
At age 16 , Vincent went to work for the firm of Goupil and Company in the Hague , in Belgium . Later he was moved from Belgium and worked in the London and Paris galleries ( Craven 215-218 ) . At age 18 he was working as an art dealer . He quickly learned what a valuable piece of art was made of . Some might say he learned too well . Customers who wished to purchase a poorly done painting were subject to Vincent's long speeches on how the object was a piece of junk ( Lerner 52 ) . His career as an art dealer was a failure.
During this time , Vincent fell in love with his landlady's daughter , Eugenia . She was a respectable woman and did not appreciate his professions of love . She was insulted and mocked his love for her .