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Vincent Van Gogh-Research Project

Page history last edited by Olivia 13 years, 11 months ago

Vincent Van Gogh

   “ The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” Vincent Van Gogh lived by this motto. He was born on March 30th, 1853 in a house in Groot-Zundert.  Van Gogh was a struggling artist. This means that he didn’t have enough money for his art so he kept having to move around and around to find new work. People often wonder if his childhood had anything to do with the tortured and struggling artist he was. 

      Van Gogh’s parents, Anna Cornelia Van Gogh (mother) and Theodorus Van Gogh (father) were just like parents today. They believed in giving him and his other 5 siblings, the best childhood possible. They let him roam the countryside, fascinated with mother earth.  Even though life seemed perfect at the time, it wasn’t. The Van Gogh's finances were tight, which led the kids to keep moving from school to school. Him and his brother's and sister's were very close in both age and relationship. His parents had two kids, Anna and Elizabeth when he was 6. His two brothers Cornelius and Wilhelmient were born after Vincent went off to school. Then of course there was his closest brother in age and mostly relationship. Most of what we know about Vincent Van Gogh comes from his letters back and forth with Theo.

              After his childhood, Van Gogh then started to show his first signs of being an artist. At age 16, he joined his uncle and became an apprentice for art dealers. Even though he found the job interesting, it just wasn't for him. He decided to start to worship and soon came a very religious man. He started to do missionary work in Belgium where he had to live in poverty and serve humble coal miners. Church leaders were furious and thought he took the idea of religion to far so he was therefore removed from his position. He decided to withdrawal from everyone and keep to himself. After that is where he started to look at things closer and start to understand the meaning of life. That's when he first started to draw and sketch his work. All of his paintings had a story behind it. Some were stranger than others. The hardworking local farm families and rural landscaping that showed up most in his pictures influenced most of his paintings. His mother used to love to paint so he took the same strategy as her. He would work with great intensity and a rapid speed. If he didn't do this, the mood wouldn't be captured while it possessed him. " When anyone says that such and such [painting] is done to quickly, you can reply that they have looked at it too fast."  He would like to try using many different mediums, but he would always focus on the same 3 subjects, still life, landscape, and figure.

          In 1888 Van Gogh wanted to create an art community called “The Studio of the South” with the 3 other great post-impressionists from his time. (Paul Gaugin, George Seurat, and Paul Cezanne) Only Gaugin gave the okay. It wasn’t until it was to late to realize that him and Gaugin were very different from each other and often got in fights. On Christmas Eve 1888, after getting in a fight with Gaugin he cut off the lower part of his left ear. He gave it to a woman named Rachel and said, “ Guard this object carefully.” After this incident Van Gogh was in and out of hospitals for the rest of his life until finally he shot himself on July 27,1890. He died 2 days later near Paris. He’s buried next to his brother Theo.

          Van Gogh was an amazing artist who will go down in history for years to come. He actually became famous after his death where people first discovered how amazingly beautiful his art really was. From learning about Van Gogh I realized that even though you spend your life searching for the perfect job that will help you keep up a living, sometimes it’s the ones that keep you happy that you should love the most. That’s how Van Gogh lived. He kept striving forward and never gave up and in his lifetime he created more than 800 gorgeous oil paintings and 700 drawings.


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