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Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Zundert, Netherlands and died on July 29, 1890, in Auvers-Sur-Oise, France. At the age of 17, Gogh moved from Holland to London to France by request of his boss, an art dealer. However, after his relocation, he lost all desire to be an art dealer and started a ministry for the miners in his area. After a while, his brother Theo Van Gogh had begun insisting that he become an artist, and with a great amount of pushing and support, both emotionally and monetarily, he succeeded in helping create one of the greatest painters of the 19th century.

In 1881, at the age of 27, he moved back in with his parents after completing 9 months of education in Brussels. By the end of that year, he had moved out again and began working under the artist Anton Mauve, and began using a pregnant prostitute by the name of Sien Hoomik as his model. Mauve didn't like the idea and eventually, they had a falling out. By the age of 29 Gogh had moved into a makeshift studio in a room rented from the Catholic Church. 

The beginning of his career as an artist was focused mostly on realism and anatomically correct figures, as shown in his piece The Potato Eaters. Eventually, he enrolled in an academy of art in Antwerp and was introduced to the art of Paul Rubens and various Japanese artists. In early 1886 he had moved back to Paris to live with his brother Theo, around that time he began using brighter more vibrant colors, as the darker palette he used in The Potato Eaters was horrendously out of date.

In 1888, Van Gogh's mental stability began to falter and health problems began to arise such as epilepsy, delusions, and psychotic attacks. And by the end of the year, he committed himself to an asylum, where he created Starry Night. During his time in the asylum his art style changed, his lines became shakier and the paintings had many swirls and whorls in them, and are believed to be a representation of his mental state.

On July 27, 1890, Van Gogh attempted suicide by shooting himself in the chest. He died two days later from the wound. Six months after his death his brother Theo had passed as well, leaving Vincent's paintings to Theo's now widowed wife, who made it her life's goal to get his artwork the recognition it deserved. 


Produced in 1882 as a portrait of Sian Hoornik, a pregnant prostitute. The dimensions are 1'6"x 0'11" and the medium is pencil, pen, and ink on paper. The period of art is realism. It is currently located in the New Rt Gallery Walsall, England. 

The Body of the woman is incredibly anatomically correct and shows the curves and imperfections of women not always shown in art. It is only done in black and white with no color in the piece. Although the woman is anatomically correct the plants in the foreground and the background have less realism and look somewhat like the plants quickly drawn in modern-day children's books

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette

Created in the winter is 1885-86 the painting is one of Van Gogh's simplest, consisting of only a skeleton with a cigarette. its dimensions are 12.6"x 9.6". The art style is considered Vanitas or Momento Mori. The medium is oil on canvas. It is currently being held in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. 

The painting is honestly really unique to the artist, the bones are almost perfectly aligned with the way they are in an actual skeleton, and the shading and discoloration shown on the bones are accurate to that of an aging skeleton as well. The way Van Gogh used the darker tan color on parts of the bone to show discoloration really gives light to the era of art it was created in. It is believed that the painting was a criticism of smoking.


Van Gogh Self-Portrait

Created in 1889, this painting is done with oil on canvas. The dimensions of the piece are 2'2"x 1'9", it is considered a post-impressionism piece of modern art. The piece is currently located at the Musee d'Orsay. 

The piece was Created after he went to art school, which you can tell the difference by the color palette used. His paint strokes on the canvas are swirled, and yet his face is still anatomically correct, keeping close to his roots as an artist.

The Potato Eaters

This piece was one of his first actual paintings, created in April of 1885. The medium is oil on canvas and the dimensions are 2'8"x 3'9". This painting was created during his realism period. It is currently located in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. 

This piece was created during the time in which he was focusing greatly on anatomy and darker color schemes. There appears to be a lot of emphasis on the hands of the subjects, putting a lot of effort into the details of the painting. This piece might be one of his most detailed pieces. focusing on every little thing. Unlike his later works, his brush strokes are not swirled.


One of several paintings of irises, this one was created in 1889. This one was one of the paintings created during his time in the asylum in France. The medium used is oil on canvas and the dimensions are 2'4"x 3'1". The piece is considered post-impressionism. It is currently located at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

This piece does not contain the same whimsical look as the rest of his paintings around this time, instead, the lines are more defined and the painting can almost be considered realism with post-impressionism flairs. The colors are bright and vibrant and make you feel as if you are in a garden while you look at it.

The Starry Night

This piece was also created during his time in the French asylum, this painting is a landscape of the view from the east-facing window of his room. The medium is oil on canvas and the dimensions are 2'5"x 3'0". This painting was created the year before his death and has become the most famous of the many paintings he has created. It is currently located in the Museum of Modern Art

This piece contains the signature swirls and brush strokes both unique to him and the time period. The colors are bright and the painting is almost monochromatic blue.