Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in the Netherlands. He was a Post-Impressionist painter, one of western art’s most famous and influential figures. His work shaped much of the modern art we now see.
Van Gogh painted a variety of subjects, including landscapes, self portraits, and still lives. His work is recognized for his daring brushstrokes in bold color. He was more interested in expressing himself than in depicting reality accurately, as is apparent in scenes such as the famous Starry Night or the lack of precise perspective in his chair painting (seen below). In fact, he himself wasn’t much of a fan of that type of work. He preferred his pieces which stayed within the possibilities of reality, though of course his actual work doesn’t reflect that preference.
Little known about Van Gogh is his life outside his painting. He traveled as an art dealer for a time, and when he became religious as a result of his growing depression, he served as a missionary in Belgium. He eventually moved back in with his family, however. His depression was a constant struggle for him, and he famously cut off part of his own ear with a razor, probably when he wasn’t completely sober.
Below are shown one of his self portraits, Van Gogh’s Chair,
Prisoners’ Round, The Painter on his Way to Work,
and Wheat Field with Cypresses.