Vincent Van Gogh.
That is a name that seems to be in art museums a great deal these days, but who exactly was he?
Vincent’s story is not one of joy or happiness. Throughout his lifetime, he had troubles with finances, he had familial issues, and he had issues in his romantic pursuits. But, instead of letting himself be crushed under the weight of his troubles, he took a stand and created beautiful paintings out of it.
Vincent Willem Van Gogh was born on March 30, of 1853 in the Netherlands. Van Gogh was the oldest of his three sisters and two brothers. The names of his siblings were Theo, Anna, Elizabeth, Wilhelmien (Wil for short), and Cornelius. His Father, Theodorous Van Gogh, was a Minister of a Dutch church just like Vincent's Grandfather (Mühlberger p 7).
Vincent went to a village school for the first few years of his life, but his parents soon hired a governess. A few years later, they decided once again to change Vincent's schooling, and sent him Mr. Provily's school in a nearby town when he was eleven (2 Greenberg p 7). By thirteen, he was studying Dutch, German, French, and English, along with history, geography, botany, zoology, calligraphy, arithmetic, gymnastics, and drawing; but by March of his fifteenth year, he returned home without finishing school (Muhlberger p 7).
Finally, at sixteen, Van Gogh wanted to figure out what it would be like to live on his own. So, he left home to earn a living at an art gallery. From that point on, Van Gogh couldn't seem to keep a steady job until about 1885.
While he was working as a minister in a very poor mining district, he discovered his passion for art. Whenever he found himself feeling disheartened, he would find hope in drawing and painting the miners (Mühlberger p 7). It was then when he developed the ability to turn painful situations- whether in his personal life, or other's- into paintings of quality.
Van Gogh grew tired of the small, dreary villages that surrounded him, and decided to follow his brother Theo's footsteps in moving to Paris. When Van Gogh moved to Paris, he started painting more often. Unfortunately, though, the paintings he made were not appreciated until significantly later, after his death. One of his most famous paintings that he did while in Paris is his self-portrait with the Gray Felt Hat. Van Gogh's pattern of short colorful lines in the painting was his attempt at pointillism- something a friend, Paul Signac, encouraged him to try. Van Gogh's patience was not as great as Signac's, so Van Gogh would often just turn the small dots into large dashes. (Mühlberger p 12)
While in Paris, Van Gogh became friends with a wide variety of people who were very generous. He became especially close to a man name Julien Tanguy, who owned an art supply shop in Paris. He was a softhearted man who let artists buy more art supplies with paintings if they did not have enough money.
Despite all the kind-hearted people around him, Van Gogh wanted once again to have a fresh start...