About Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear
Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch Post Impressionist artist whose paintings have become world renowned and are among some of the most popular and expensive pieces of art work available for purchase. He was supported financially by his brother Theo to which they shared a lifelong friendship. He created more than 2000 of his works which included 900 paintings and 1100 drawings during the last ten years of his life and some of his best work was done during the last two years of his life. His work is known to all and many of his creations are considered very valuable pieces today.


•Vincent Willem van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert in the Province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands in 1853. He was given the same name as his grandfather and first born brother who was stillborn.
•Art and religion were two occupations that seemed to run through the veins in the Van Gogh family. Many of Vincent’s ancestors had been artists or sculptors during their lives, including Grandfather Vincent who was a very successful sculptor.
•In 1857 Van Gogh’s brother Theodorus was born. He also had one other brother, Cor, and three sisters, Elisabeth, Anna, and Wil.
•In 1860 Vincent Van Gogh attended the Zundert village school with about 200 other students. They were taught by a Catholic teacher.
•In 1861 he and his sisters were taken out of school and taught at home by a governess.
•In October of 1864 he was sent to an elementary boarding school in Zevenbergen, Netherlands. He did not want to leave his family, but was still sent.
•On September 15 1866 he went to Willem II College in Tilburg, Netherlands.
•In 1868 Van Gogh left school very suddenly and returned home.

His Life’s Work

•Van Gogh drew and painted using simple water colors while he attended school; though most of these works did not survive. He started his “artistic career” when he was in elementary school by copying the “Cours de Dessin.” Within the first two years of his budding art career, he began working for pay.
•In the Spring of 1882 his uncle asked him to provide drawings of the Hague; which never made the approval of his uncle. Though there were some rough spots and those who did not like his work, he remained steadfast with his work. He began experimenting with different art materials and worked vigorously on single figures in black and white. This only created more criticism.
•In the Spring of 1883 Van Gogh began working on multi figure drawings, but when his brother criticized his work as being lifeless he destroyed everything and turned to oil painting.
•Van Gogh turned to renowned artists like Weissenbruch and Blommers for support in his paintings. Some of his first paintings were destroyed by himself; the only to survive are “The Old Tower”, and “The Cottage.” Many of his paintings lacked the technical experience he needed, so he decided to go to Antwerp to improve this skill.
•He would continue to improve and master his skills leaving behind many beautiful pieces of art.

In his later years, Vincent van Gogh had many medical problems. He was afflicted with mental problems that probably drove him to his own death. He was not allowed to paint during the worst times; his diagnosis is still debated today. Some diagnoses included schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, syphilis poisoning, temporal lobe epilepsy and acute intermittent porphyria. He was extremely depressed in his later years, walked into field and shot himself in the chest. Vincent van Gogh died two days later on July 20, 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, leaving behind a vast legacy of art work.

Learn more with these Vincent van Gogh websites.

Cite This Page

"About Vincent Van Gogh." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Apr. 2008. Web. 28 Jul. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/116/about-vincent-van-gogh/ >.

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