His name is immortal. His life is one of unimagined pain and sorrow. His palette consisted of the colors of the sun, his one true love. How he sought to understand and capture it. How it had eluded him so throughout his life. Vincent van Gogh, not an artist for arts sake, but for the sake of the humanities. His life is the story of a great and passionate heart, filled entirely with but only two things: love and sorrow. His works reflect his entire being, for that is the reason that he started painting. It was his savior from mental illness. It was his only means of escape from the cruel and heartless world that he imagined he lived in. His life could be defined by a statement he made at his own fathers deathbed: ³Dying is hard, but living is harder still².
Van Gogh's works are classified as being generally Post-Impressionism. Like the Renaissance, Impressionism made an irreversible difference, the viewer naturally senses that all art since that time has been ³after Impressionism.² The Artists who rejected Impressionism toward the end of the 19th century painted not only what they observed, but what they felt, finally setting painting free to deal with emotions as well as material reality. They experimented with new subjects and techniques, moving art closer to abstraction and winning tremendous freedom for the next generation of artists.(Beckett)
Born March 30th 1853, at Groot-Zundert in Holland, to Theo van Gogh and Anna Cornelia Barbentos. His father was a self made clergyman as his father was before him. He was, as clergyman usually are, helpful, good-tempered, and considerate. His Mother was one with whom he had a great inward affinity. She was one of the few that could understand Vincent. Growing up in an old fashioned country house surrounded by a number of younger siblings, he could only relate to his younger brother Theo. This warm relationship grew with time and became stronger still.
Vincent was, as a young boy and throughout his life, not quite so handsome with his red hair and his small eyes hidden behind a furrowed brow. Opposite to the nice little town where he grew up, it was his temperament that distinguished him. He was unsociable, passionate, undisciplined and retiring. Always retreating to the fields and nearby forests to think and discover.
He went to the towns school and was then sent to a boarding school at Zevenbergen when he was twelve. At age sixteen he returned home to his parents house. His sister describes how he used to escape from the monotony of life in his sleepy little town and flee to the open country to avoid the eyes of his fathers parishioners:³Broad rather then tall, his back slightly bent owing to the bad habit of letting his head hang forward, his reddish fair hair cut short beneath a...