I people at work, telling customers not to

I think it is hard for
anyone to say that they had a perfect life growing up, there are flaws in every
family. Van Gogh had to face adulthood early as some people must. “At age 15,
van Gogh’s family was struggling financially, and he was forced to leave school
and go to work.” (Biography.com Editors n.p.). 
After leaving home he got a job at his Uncles art dealership, which was
a firm of art dealers in The Hague. After gaining some experience on the job
Vincent was fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native
language Dutch. Van Gogh fell in love with the English culture when he was transferred
to the Groupil Gallery in London. He visited art galleries in his spare time
and became very fond of Charles Dickens and George Eliot’s writings. Van Gogh
suffered his first breakdown when Eugenie Loyer his landlady’s daughter
rejected his marriage proposal. He changed the way he lived his life by
throwing away all his books except for the bible and devoted his life to god.
“He became angry with people at work, telling customers not to buy the
“worthless art,” and was eventually fired. After being fired van Gogh taught in
a Methodist boy’s school and preached to the congregation.” (Biography.com
Editors n.p.). Growing up in a Christian family van Gogh never considered
devoting his life to the church. One year later he was denied entry into the
School of Theology in Amsterdam after refusing to take the Latin exams. Following
his denied entry into Amsterdam he volunteered to move to a coal mine in
Belgium. While at this coal mine he preached and ministered to sick people, and
drew pictures for them. Toward the end of his contract the evangelical
committees refused to renew his contract, and so van Gogh was forced to find a
new job. Van Gogh’s love life was not the best either. Many of the women he
fell in love with were toxic to his sanity. “When the love of his life Clasina
Hoornik, an alcoholic prostitute went back to prostitute van Gogh became very
depressed. The situation was so bad that his own family threatened to cut off
his money if he didn’t leave her.” (Biography.com Editors n.p.). When van Gogh
left to meet his family’s ultimatum, he moved throughout the region while
painting and drawing the landscape.

            Van Gogh’s art attributes the Post-Impressionism
movement. “The post-impressionism movement took place in France, and
represented both an extension of Impressionism and a rejection of the style’s
inherent limitations.” (Britannica encyclopedia editors n.p.). Out of all the
painters that took part in this movement van Gogh was the only one who wasn’t
French which is kind of interesting. “One of the ways van Gogh compared to the
other Post-Impressionism artists is that he painted alone, also he and Gaugin
rejected the indifferent objectivity of Impressionism in favor of a more
personal, spiritual expression.” (Britannica encyclopedia editors n.p.). When van
Gogh arrived in Paris in 1896 he quickly adapted Impressionist techniques and
color to express his acutely felt emotions. “He transformed the contrasting
short brushstrokes of Impressionism into curving, vibrant lines of color,
exaggerated even beyond Impressionism brilliance, that conveys his emotionally
charged and ecstatic responses to the natural landscape.” (Britannica
encyclopedia editors n.p.) Overall, Van Gogh in the eyes of many considered being
one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists.

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            In 1889 van Gogh created what is considered by many to be
one of the greatest works in western art in history. “The Starry night which
was also his most famous work portrays the view outside van Gogh’s sanitarium
room window at Saint-Remy-de-Provence in France.” (Bertmen n.p.). Personally, I
would say that this piece shows his interest in the universe, as the painting
depicts the stars overlooking the town. “The work shows the artist’s interest
in astronomy and a study made by the Griffith Park Observatory demonstrated
that Vincent represented the Moon, Venus, and several stars in the exact
position the occupied that clear night.” (Anirudh n.p.). Many of van Gogh’s
paintings weren’t given much recognition until he died but twenty-six years ago
the highest price paid for one of his pieces was a whopping eighty-two million

            The most expensive painting ever sold was the portrait of
Dr. Gachet. “Dr. Gachet was a French physician who treated van Gogh during the
last months of his life.” (Britannica encyclopedia editors n.p.). There are two
versions of this painting, and on May 15, 1990, one of them sold for 82 million
dollars, making it the most expensive painting ever sold to date. I am not very
art savvy at all, but this piece portrays van Gogh’s respect for this man, as
he helped van Gogh in his last days. “Van Gogh felt a particular affinity for
home because their similar bouts with depression and their dependency on their
vocation for emotional and intellectual fulfillment.” (Bertmen n.p.). Dr.
Gachet and Van Gogh shared relationship not only as doctor and patient but also
as friends.  

1888 van Gogh created another globally famous piece named which is named ‘Sunflowers’.
“Vincent van Gogh is considered a master of still life paintings and series of
paintings on ‘sunflowers’ rank among the most famous still life paintings ever
created.” (“Anirudh” n.p.). This painting was the most expensive painting ever
purchased until a couple years later when van Gogh’s piece Irises broke the record
in 1989. This painting initially was for the arrival of Gauguin when the two
finally agreed to meet in Arles. In a letter written to Gauguin van Gogh wrote,
“In the hope of living in a studio of our own with Gauguin, I’d like to do a
decoration for the studio. Nothing but large sunflowers.” (Hulsey n.p.). Van
Gogh’s mental condition pushed Gaugin away like it did to many others. Shortly
before Christmas in 1888, van Gogh severed his ear lobe with a razor blade
after getting into an argument with Gauguin. There have been many speculations
that van Gogh made up the story to protect his friend Gauguin. These
allegations claim that Gauguin cut van Gogh’s ear off with a sword during the
altercation. When van Gogh was in the hospital after almost nearly bleeding to
death, Gauguin refused to go and see him. This mystery may never be solved due
to the instability of van Gogh’s actions. It could have been self-defense or an
outright assault but because of the inconsistencies on both sides to the story
we can only speculate.

Gogh was a ticking time bomb that finally ran out of time. Throughout his life
he lived in poverty. Now that his paintings are so famous and expensive you
might have never known. Van Gogh’s family like many others had struggles and
imperfections, these imperfections fueled his motivation for art. Van Gogh was
a huge contributor to the Post-Impressionism movement in France. With thousands
of pieces that van Gogh created some say that his work was some of the best in
the world to date. Even though Vincent van Gogh faced a lot of adversity in his
life, his drive and willingness to create such beautiful art will allow his
legacy to live on for many years to come.


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