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Vincent van Gogh Artist Biography

Van Gogh conceived the idea of founding a 'Studio of the South' at Arles as a working community for progressive artists. Early in 1888 he moved to Arles but the only other artist he eventually persuaded to join him was Gauguin - a man whom he greatly admired. It was after a quarrel with Gauguin that van Gogh was reputed to have cut off part of his ear. Van Gogh's early work, during his Dutch period was heavy and rich but subdued in colour, for example 'The Potato Eaters' (1885). After his contact with other painters in Paris, with Japanese prints and the work of such original colourists as Eugene Delacroix and Monticelli, van Gogh's style changed radically culminating in the brilliant, expressive colour and frenzied, thick brushmarks of his Arles period. The final two and a half years before his death in 1890 were spend in Arles and saw Vincent at his most prolific capturing his exuberance and passion for the surrounding countryside. Among hundreds of paintings from this era are the famous 'Starry Night' (1889), 'Sunflowers' (1888), 'Cafe at Night'(1888) and 'Cornfield and Cypress Trees' (1889). His watercolours, such as 'Fishing boats at Santeo Maries' and drawings are of equal intensity, while the letters he wrote to his brother Theo are important literary and human documents in their own right.In 1889, van Gogh entered an asylum at St Rmy. He suffered from long periods of lucidity followed by violent attacks. In May 1890 he moved to Auvers-sur-Oise under the care of Dr Gachet. He died there at the age of 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted. The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death. "I am a man of passions, capable of and subject to doing more or less foolish things, which I happen to repent more or less afterwards... But the problem is to try every means to put those selfsame passions to good use... In the surroundings of pictures and works of art, you know how I had a violent passion for them, reaching the highest pitch of enthusiasm." (Vincent van Gogh)"It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to.... The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures." (Vincent van Gogh)

More art prints from Vincent van Gogh

Vase of sunflowers By Vincent van Gogh
Almond Blossom, 1890 by Vincent van Gogh
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Sunflowers on Blue By Vincent van Gogh
Ponte levatoio ad Arles By Vincent van Gogh
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