van Gogh is considered the greatest post-impressionist artist of all time but he lived a life of poverty and mental ill health. It is said that in a 10 year period he painted around 900 paintings although he only sold one painting during his short life.
In 1886 van Gogh went to Paris to live with his brother Theo van Gogh who was an art dealer. Whilst in Paris van Gogh became familiar with the new art movements of the time and he was greatly influenced by the work of the Impressionists artists and Japanese printmakers. Vincent van Gogh oil paintings display a reverence for Japanese art which is apparent in paintings such as Flowering Plum Orchard after Hiroshige 1887 and The Courtesan after Eisen 1887
During the summer of 1888 van Gogh left Paris for southern France and whilst in Provence he painted scenes of Wheatfields, Cypress Trees, peasants and rustic life characteristic of the region. It was when he was living in Arles that he began to use the swirling brush strokes and intense yellows, greens, and blues which we now associate with so many of his paintings
Van Gogh persuaded Paul Gauguin, whom he had met earlier in Paris to join him in Arles. It was a volatile friendship with one argument culminating in the now famous quarrel in which van Gogh wildly threatened Gauguin with a razor; the same night, in deep remorse, van Gogh cut off part of his own ear.
Van Gogh spent a year in the nearby Asylum of Saint-Remy but continued to paint between repeated spells of mental ill health. Vincent van Gogh's most famous painting The Starry Night 1899. The Starry Night 1899, was painted whilst he was in the Asylum, and depicts the view from his hospital room.
Starry Night over the Rhone was painted in 1888 and is another nighttime painting which was completed at Arles. This scene was just a short walk from The Yellow House at the Place Lamartine a Vincent van Gogh oil painting also completed in 1888
On July 27 1890, shortly after completing Wheatfields with Crows Vincent shot himself and died two days later at the age of 37.
Famous van Gogh paintings include Irises 1889, The Cafe Terrace at Night. Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers, Vase With Twelve Sunflowers of which there are 12 in the series were painted in Arles during 1888 and 1889; Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers was sold at auction and set a record price for any artwork at that time.
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