Van Gogh, Whiteley

Essay by nadinebHigh School, 11th grade November 2014

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Nadine Bakker


Vincent van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853. He was the son of a pastor and brought up in a religious and cultured household. From a young age he lacked self-confidence and was very emotional. Between 1860 and 1880, before he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage, where he was dismissed for overzealousness. After that he remained in Belgium to study art. His earl works are somber-toned and sharply lit, of which the most famous is "The Potato Eaters" (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.

In 1886 he went to Paris with his brother. That is where he met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin.

This inspired him to lighten his dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists.

Due to his hot temper other artists found him difficult to work with. He decided to go to Arles where he hoped to found a school of art. Gauguin joined him but the results were disastrous. In 1888 Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor. Gauguin stopped him but Van Gogh ended up cutting off the majority of his left ear lobe. After that Gauguin left Arles all together. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment. In May 1890 he was allowed to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he shot himself "for the good of all." throughout his career he had only...