Vincent Van Gogh Essay

839 words - 4 pages

Vincent Van Gogh was a nineteenth century artist, famous for his post-Impressionist paintings. Though he did not start painting until his late twenties, he produced more than two-thousand and one-hundred pieces of artwork, ranging from oil paintings and watercolors to drawings, sketchings, and prints. Though he lived over one hundred years ago, his art is still altering the way mankind views individuality, persona, beauty, and style in art. Today he is generally considered on of the greatest painters in European art history.

He was born in March 30, 1853 to Theodorus Van Gogh and Anna Cornelia Carentus in Groot Zundert, Netherlands, he was also the eldest child of six. His father was an austere country minister, and his mother was an artist whose love of drawing, watercolors, and nature transferred to her son. At fifteen he was forced to leave school and start work, due to his family's financial struggle. Receiving a job at his Uncle's art dealership, Groupil & Cie., a firm of art dealers in The Hague.

In June of 1873, Vincent Van Gogh was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London. During his spare time, he visited art galleries, and became a fan of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. While in London, he fell in love with his landlord's daughter, Eugenie Loyer. She rejected his marriage proposal, sending Van Gogh into a mental breakdown. Throwing away all of his books except his Bible, he devoted his life to God. Causing problems within his job, becoming angry with people and advising customers not to buy 'worthless art' led to his eventual firing.

At this time, Van Gogh began teaching at a Methodist boys' school, where he also preached to the congregation. Even though he was raised in a religious family, he did not begin to seriously consider devoting his life to the church. He hoped to become a minister, and prepared to take the entrance exam to the School of Theology in Amsterdam. Unfortunately after a year of studying, Van Gogh refused to take the Latin exams, citing that Latin was a 'dead language' of poor people. This caused him to be denied entrance.

During the winter of 1878, Vincent Van Gogh volunteered to move to an impoverished coal mine in the south of Belgium, a place where preachers were sent as punishment. Preaching and ministering to the sick, he also drew pictures of the miners and their families, earning him the nickname 'Christ of the Coal Mines'. The...

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