Vincent van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, although he remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.
Who Was Vincent Van Gogh?
Vincent Willem van Gogh (March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890) was a post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th-century art. He struggled with mental illness, and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life. Van Gogh died in France at age 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Van Gogh’s Paintings and Artwork
Vincent van Gogh completed more than 2,100 works, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings and sketches. Several of his paintings now rank among the most expensive in the world; "Irises" sold for a record $53.9 million, and his "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for $82.5 million.
'The Starry Night'
Van Gogh painted "The Starry Night" in the asylum where he was staying in Saint-Rémy, France, in 1889, the year before his death. “This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big,” he wrote to his brother Theo. A combination of imagination, memory, emotion and observation, the oil painting on canvas depicts an expressive swirling night sky and a sleeping village, with a large flame-like cypress, thought to represent the bridge between life and death, looming in the foreground. The painting is currently housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY.
How Did Van Gogh Die?
On July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh went out to paint in the morning carrying a loaded pistol and shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He was found bleeding in his room. Van Gogh was distraught about his future because, in May of that year, his brother Theo had visited and spoke to him about needing to be stricter with his finances. Van Gogh took that to mean Theo was no longer interested in selling his art.
Van Gogh was taken to a nearby hospital and his doctors sent for Theo, who arrived to find his brother sitting up in bed and smoking a pipe. They spent the next couple of days talking together, and then van Gogh asked Theo to take him home. On July 29, 1890, Vincent van Gogh died in the arms of his brother. He was 37 years old.