Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh
“One must work and dare if one really wants to live.” Vincent van Gogh
Cafe Terrace At Night by Vincent van Gogh
Before his career as a painter, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) tried his hand as a bookstore clerk, a country preacher, and an art dealer. It was not until he picked up a paintbrush that he found a profession that fit his passion and temperament. He would go on to produce over 2000 works over the next 10 years. His initial works focus on drawing and composition – and contain little of the expressive color that he would later become renowned for.
The Potato Eaters, 1885 by Vincent van Gogh
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent van Gogh
Through his studies and the business connections with his brother Theo, between 1885 and 1888 Vincent spent time with the artists Cezanne, Seurat, Monet, Degas, Gauguin and Pissarro. He became familiar with their works and the impressionist doctrine which had the immediate influence of lightening van Gogh’s somber palette.
Four Cut Sunflowers, 1887 by Vincent van Gogh
“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.” Vincent van Gogh
Fraught with emotional instability and passionately driven by a need to overcome a self perceived mediocre talent – his work in later years moved from subtle impressionism to vibrant, expressive works marked with a strong, almost violent composition and color combinations that move his works into a realm of magical expressionism.
Irises by Vincent van Gogh
Folding in the impressionist and neo-impressionist influence along with his study of the traditions of Reubens, Rembrandt and Japanese painters, Van Gogh produced an incredible string of masterworks over the next five years.
Almond Branches in Bloom, San Remy, 1890 by Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was prone to mood swings, and had an unstable temperament that would swing his emotional state from vibrant, positive moments of clarity to deep, dark, destructive depression. On top of this he was often acutely aware of these highs and lows, as illustrated in beautifully articulated letters to his brother Theo.
“It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill – it’s a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider. I’m all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I’ll always remain half crazy.” Vincent van Gogh
Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent van Gogh
Despite his rocky and tumultuous moods Van Gogh was very prolific in the later years of his career, producing hundreds of paintings between the years of 1885 and 1889. Several of his most famous paintings were produced during his last 2 years [1888-1890]. He painted 90 works of art in the 2 months before his death.
First Steps, 1890 by Vincent van Gogh
“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.” Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” Vincent van Gogh
After a long struggle with his stormy psyche – which he used painting to express and relieve, Van Gogh died from wounds following a suicide attempt in 1890.
The Siesta by Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh influence on world culture and art is still felt today over 120 years after his death. He is one of the most recognized (and lucrative) museum artists today. And while he did not get any artistic acclaim during his lifetime, he was later revered as a pioneer of Expressionism among the artists of the twentieth century.
Sunflowers on Blue, 1888 by Vincent van Gogh
Come and see Amanti Art’s entire Vincent van Gogh Collection.