Vincent Van Gogh Paintings
Masters Reproductions

This Van Gogh Paintings Page is part of 'The Great Masters' section, if you haven't yet read it, or our 'Home Page', maybe you'd like to check them out before reading on.

The following, is a brief biography of Vincent Van Gogh, his life and works, with several examples of the more famous Van Gogh paintings woven into the text. If you have a favorite work of his, just let us know the name of the piece, and we'll create it for you from our vast photo stock of his works.

alt text Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundest, a small Dutch village in south Holland.

Vincent's father was a pastor and two of his uncles were art dealers. At the age of sixteen, Vincent began working in The Hague as an art salesman.

He was very close to his younger brother Theo, and began writing to him. This correspondence would last all their lives. From The Hague, Vincent was sent to a branch of Groupil's in London, and then in 1875, on to a branch in Paris.

alt text He loved being around the art works in the great museums and galleries, and daily contact with works of art kindled his appreciation of paintings and drawings.

Gradually he lost interest in his work at Groupil's and turned to the Bible. His work performance continued to deteriorate until 1876, when he was dismissed.

alt text A while later, back in Holland, Vincent decided to become a preacher and went to work as a missionary in the Borinage, a poverty-stricken mining district in Belgium.

There he lived with the poor people, giving away all his possessions, but he soon found himself dismissed again, this time for being overzealous.

He remained in Belgium to study art, and feeling he could serve God better as an artist, he painted the first of many great Van Gogh paintings, The Potato Eaters, in 1885.

In 1886 he joined up with Theo, in Paris, where he met the city's modern Impressionist painters, including Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin.

alt text He saw how the Impressionists used paint to depict light and began to lighten his palette and paint with shorter brush strokes. His life was happy enough, but his nervousness made him a difficult person to be around. In addition, talking at night and painting by day took it's toll on his health and he decided to go to the south of France to find a more suitable environment for painting.

During this period, Theo subsidized Vincent and tried to sell the Van Gogh Paintings.

Vincent then decided to settle in Arles, hoping that his friends would join him and found an art school. Gauguin did visit, but with disastrous results. The two men argued constantly. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh threatened his friend with a razor, and later cut off a portion of his own ear. At this time he began to alternate between fits of madness and more lucid periods. He went to the asylum first in Arles, and later at Saint-Rémy for treatment.

alt text In 1890 Vincent seemed better and it was decided that he should go to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, to be cared for by Dr Gachet. Although this relationship was good, and Vincent's works were good, his mind deteriorated further.

Theo was now married and had a family to support. Worried about the financial burden he placed on Theo, Vincent walked into a wheat field on July 27, 1890 and shot himself in the chest. He then stumbled back to his lodgings, where he died two days later, aged just 37. Theo remained at his side. Vincent was buried in the small church at Auvers-sur-Oise.

Six months later, in January 1891, Theo also died and was buried next to his brother.

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