Life of Famed Painter Vincent Van Gogh  Term Paper

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life of famed painter Vincent Van Gogh. The writer explores his life and the things that contributed to the path of his career. In addition the writer examines the works and changes of Van Gogh's style throughout a one decade period of work. There were five sources used to complete this paper.

If a picture paints a thousand words famed painter Vincent Van Gogh has contributed volumes to the world at large and he did it in a short time span. Through a ten-year period the work of Van Gogh ranged in style and meaning. Many of the changes he experienced were founded in the fact that he spent time with other artists. Van Gogh spent years trying to find his nitch in different fields until he discovered a talent for painting. Once that talent was awakened he spent a decade turning out classic works for the world to enjoy. One of the reasons Van Gogh was so talented during such a short time without having to spend years studying the craft was because of his life experiences along the way. He had the information in his heart and head and only had to put it on the canvas.

Vincent Van Gogh has frequently been referred to as the greatest Dutch painter since the time and work of Rembrandt. One of the most remembered accomplishments of Van Gogh in the world of art is his powerful and long lasting contribution to the changes in the genre of Expressionism. He influenced that genre not only with his works and statements within those works but also with the changes that his work underwent as the genre adapted to those changes. He is single-handedly noted for affecting the genre and influencing changes.

One of the most unusual facts about Van Gogh is the span of his works. Most artists that sustain historic recognition spend their entire life producing the works that become classics. Van Gogh produced all of the works the world admires in a short ten-year span of life (Gogh, Vincent van (

His work, all of it produced during a period of only 10 years, hauntingly conveys through its striking colour, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms the anguish of a mental illness that eventually resulted in suicide. Among his masterpieces are numerous self-portraits and the well-known The Starry Night (1889) (Gogh, Vincent van ("

His works included the following:




Still-Lives with Sunflowers

Views from the Asylum

Works after Millet


Fields and Cypresses

Other Landscapes (Gogh, Vincent van (

All of this works occurred in a relatively short time span when held up and measured against the lifespan works of other famed historical artists. Van Gogh had many life experiences however before settling on art as a way to make his mark on the world and those experiences along with the emotions they evoked assisted him in knowing immediately how to touch the world through visual stories.

Among his experiences were career starts and losses, love that was not returned and giving away everything he owned. After gathering the years of life experience Van Gogh set to work sharing those experiences through color, canvas and interpretation and in the final ten years of his life turned out more than 800 works (Gogh, Vincent van (

As for me, I am rather often uneasy in my mind, because I think that my life has not been calm enough; all those bitter disappointments, adversities, changes keep me from developing fully and naturally in my artistic career."(Vincent van Gogh Letter W1116 June 1889) (Van Gogh (

Van Gogh's life began in the area of Groot Zundert in the Netherlands. His birthdate was recorded as 1853 on the 30th of March. The palette of Van Gogh's life experiences began from the moment of his birth when he was named after an older brother who had died a year earlier. In an almost mystic measure of time Vincent's mother had given birth one year to the day before Vincent was born and the family had named that baby Vincent as well. Since Van Gogh's death there has been much speculation that being named after a dead brother who was born on his same birthday placed psychological stress on Van Gogh that later affected his mind, life and choices (Van Gogh (

Van Gogh's father was a pastor of the Dutch reformed church. Van Gogh was sent to boarding school for ten years when he reached the age of educational need and at the age of 5 he decided he did not need any more formal education. He left school at that time and he never returned to formal education though he believed he was learning many valuable lessons through the experiences of his life (Van Gogh (

His first personal brush with the art world was when he got a job in a firm of art dealers. While this was his first personal work experiences in the field his family had long since been a part of it. He had two uncles that were well-known art dealers and his younger brother worked his life as an art dealer. These family connections in the art world have been speculated to have contributed to the work Van Gogh would later produce as a painter.

Vincent was relatively successful as an art dealer and stayed with Goupil & Cie. For seven more years (Van Gogh ("

Van Gogh's heart became touched by a transfer to a London branch of the company and he immediately fell in love with the climate of the nation. He rented a room in a house and the daughter of the owner became his first real romantic interest (Van Gogh (

Vincent van Gogh would remain in London for two more years. During that time he visited the many art galleries and museums and became a great admirer of British writers such as George Eliot and Charles Dickens. Van Gogh was also a great admirer of the British engravers whose works illustrated such magazines as The Graphic. These illustrations inspired and influenced Van Gogh in his later life as an artist. The relationship between Vincent and Goupil's became more strained as the years passed and in May of 1875 he was transferred to the Paris branch of the firm. It became clear as the year wore on that Vincent was no longer happy dealing in paintings that had little appeal for him in terms of his own personal tastes. Vincent left Goupil's in late March, 1876 and decided to return to England where his two years there had been, for the most part, very happy and rewarding (Van Gogh ("

To make a living Van Gogh became a teacher at Rev. William P. Stokes' school in Ramsgate. He was responsible for 24 boys between the ages of 10 and 14. His letters suggest that Vincent enjoyed teaching. After that he began teaching at another school for boys, this one lead by Rev. T. Slade Jones in Isleworth. In his spare time Van Gogh continued to visit galleries and admire the many great works of art he found there. He also devoted himself to his Bible study -- spending many hours reading and rereading the Gospel (Van Gogh ( summer of 1876 was truly a time of religious transformation for Vincent van Gogh. Although raised in a religious family, it wasn't until this time that he seriously began to consider devoting his life to the Church (Van Gogh ("

In his desire to become a pastor he began taking on responsibilities of the church which led to being allowed to perform sermons. The sermons however lacked charisma and fell on bored ears and he was eventually asked to step down. After this he got a job in a bookstore which lasted a few months before he left for Amsterdam to apply to the university. Once he accepted he began to study theology and Greek but after 15 months he dropped out. Van Gogh later said his time at university studying was the worst time in his life thus far.

In November Vincent failed to qualify for the mission school in Laeken after a three-month trial period. Never one to be swayed by adversity, Vincent van Gogh eventually made arrangements with the Church to begin a trial period preaching in one of the most inhospitable and impoverished regions in western Europe: the coal mining district of The Borinage, Belgium (Van Gogh (" He went back to preaching but this time to coal miners and their families.

He sympathized with their dreadful working conditions and did his best, as their spiritual leader, to ease the burden of their lives (Van Gogh (, this altruistic desire would reach somewhat fanatical proportions when Vincent began to give away most of his food and clothing to the poverty-stricken people under his care. Despite Vincent's noble intentions, representatives of the Church strongly disapproved of Van Gogh's asceticism and dismissed him from his post in July (Van Gogh…

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