Sunflowers - Vincent van Gogh - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W
Sunflowers - Vincent van Goghí - Framed Print - 20"H x 16"W
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created approximately 2100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold, symbolic colours, and dramatic, impulsive and highly expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He sold only one painting during his lifetime and became famous after his suicide, aged 37, which followed years of poverty and mental illness.
Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful, but showed signs of mental instability. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion, and spent time as a missionary in southern Belgium. He was keenly aware of modernist trends in art and took up painting in 1881.
Van Gogh's early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his later work. In 1886 he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in 1888. He lived there in the Yellow House and, with the French artist Paul Gauguin, developed a concept of colour that symbolised inner emotion.
Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and, though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, not eating properly and drinking heavily. His friendship with Gauguin came to an end after a violent encounter when he threatened the Frenchman with a razor, and in a rage, cut off part of his own left ear. While in a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy his condition stabilised, leading to one of the more productive periods of his life.
On 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.