Vincent van Gogh reproductions

Vincent Willem van Gogh was an extremely prominent Dutch post-Impressionist artist and one of the most important artists of our time. His paintings are notable for their coarse beauty, emotional truthfulness, and usage of bold colour palette. His prolific art had a powerful influence on modern art, especially 20th century painting styles using abstraction, fauvism, and expressionism.

Van Gogh grew up in Holland; after being forced to leave school at 15 due to his family’s straightened financial circumstances, he managed to obtain employment at an art dealership in The Hague owned by his uncle. He progressed to such an extent that he was transferred to work at the London gallery of the same establishment. Falling in love with the English culture, Van Gogh took to visiting art galleries and reading English literature. Spurned by his landlady’s daughter, he suffered a mental breakdown and decided to devote his life to God; he started advising clients not to invest in "worthless art" and eventually lost his job.

He took up employment at a Methodist school for boys and also preached locally. His ambition to become a minister was thwarted after he failed to gain admission to the School of Theology in Amsterdam and later, the Church of Belgium due to his refusal to learn Latin that he termed a "dead language" of poverty-struck people. In 1878, he moved to southern Belgium to preach and tend to the poor coal miners; however, his lifestyle and practice of drawing pictures of the miners and their families earned him the wrath of the evangelical committee forcing him to look for another job.

At the age of 27, Van Gogh had finally abandoned his ambitions of becoming a preacher and supported financially by this art-dealer brother, Theo, took admission to the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. By the next year, he was painting in real earnest in Amsterdam. However, he found little success in the next few years. While his love life remained barren of any interest, Van Gogh devoted himself fully to painting; he lived frugally, and studied the theory of colour and the compositions of famous artists.

Using a dark earthy colour palette, he took to painting peasants in the pastoral landscapes even as the first Impressionistic compositions utilising the vibrantly colourful and vivid colours were gaining popularity. He still found his paintings impossible to sell and in 1886, travelled to Paris, where he would evolve his signature style that would ultimately be lauded the world over. It was in this city that he would get the opportunity of discoursing about art with some of the most modern and important artists of the times, such as Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Émile Bernard. He took to employing more colours, applying them with thicker and bolder brushstrokes and for inspiration, drew on everything in his surrounds.

While his efforts received positive and encouraging reviews, Van Gogh still was unable to sell any of his pieces.

As an artist it was always his dream to establish an artistic colony; with this intention in 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles, where he would be later joined by his friend, Gauguin. At Arles, he was at his productive best but at the same time, entered into a period of great turmoil with physical and mental afflictions ensuring lengthy stays in hospital. Many of his most renowned and revered paintings, including the masterpiece “The Starry Night”, were created while he was in the asylum.

In his brief career, Van Gogh produced more than 2000 artworks consisting 1100 sketches and drawings and 900 paintings but managed to sell only one. His fame came only after his demise. Today, Van Gogh is regarded as one of the greatest painters in history; his paintings, including self-portraits and unique outdoor captures, are now some of the most expensive artworks ever sold.

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