Vincent van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. His father was a pastor, that´s why he brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere; Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully in a bookstore, and in an art gallery. He went to Belgium to study art, because he wanted to give happiness by creating beauty. His first works are dark; the most famous is “The Potato Eaters” (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and bought many Japanese prints.
In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, and he met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark paintings. He was very nervous person and he became in a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day damaged his health.
He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with terrible results. In a epileptic fit, van Gogh followed his friend with an open razor and he ended by cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.
In 1890 he died shooting himself “for the good of all.” During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh’s finest works were produced in less than three years with a technique using symbolic and intense color and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh is an inimitable artist, he used a fusion of form and content; his paintings are powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional.