Top 10 Facts About The Life And Death Of Vincent Van Gogh – 71Bait

Vincent Van Gogh is known for being the most iconic post-impressionist artist who left an indelible mark on the visual arts world. Vincent Van Gogh is a name that will be familiar to most people. Though considered a failure during his lifetime, now, more than a century later, his masterpieces have revolutionized the way modern art is presented and perceived. Additionally, he has proven to be an inspiration to several current up and coming artists.

Little is known about his personal life, but what is known is that he suffered from degenerative mental disorders that not only made his pictures a betrayal of his mental health, but also made his life very controversial, with some details being quite shocking.

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10 Becoming an artist was not his original plan

Van Gogh’s father was a Protestant pastor and his son hoped to follow in his footsteps. He studied theology in a church and later served as a missionary in a small unknown village called “Borinage” in south-west Belgium. Because of his highly romanticized idea of ​​divinity and the deeper truth of what Christianity really was, he believed in a greater higher power, which was contrary to what his father’s church believed. He firmly believed in the idea that the generation of religion begins in the lower class. So he started preaching in the poor miners’ village.

Seeing the condition of the poor villagers, Van Gogh gave them all his possessions and tried to imitate the morality of Christ in order to attract people’s attention. An evangelization council inspector saw his radicalism, and his behavior was reported to church authorities, who released him from his religious duties after just two years. So he decided to follow his artistic passion and his work was often seen with religious symbols.[1]

9 The letters

Van Gogh was a very private person when it came to his private life and little to nothing would have been known of his life were it not for his letters, the only authentic personal records of his life. You are a window into his universe. Vincent’s biggest supporter was his brother Theo. Since Van Gogh turned to art and writing after being discharged from his duties as a missionary, he wrote to his brother in hopes of gaining clarity about his deteriorating mental health and lack of work. The letters also revealed how strained his family ties had grown due to his inability to pursue a proper career path.

With over 2,000 letters and around 240 sketches, they contained everything from his deepest secrets to his intimate life. Around 950 of the letters were published as a book in 1914.[2]

8th Inspired by the East

Drawing inspiration from many artists and culturally influenced artworks, Van Gogh found a deep fondness for Asian art. At first he ignored the growing trend in Japanese art, but decided to modernize his work after seeing its increasing influence. When he moved to Paris to share an apartment with his brother, they both worked to assemble a collection of Japanese prints and Vincent’s interest in the art form only grew.

He began to develop a keen eye for Oriental artworks, recognizing them as masterpieces as great as Western ones. The only real record of how large this collection of prints was is found in one of his letters, in which he referred to them as “hundreds.”[3]

7 Unrequited love

The idea of ​​having a mysterious artistic partner is irresistible to many. Despite being a master of his artistic abilities, Van Gogh was quite problematic and unlucky when it came to his romantic life, having only experienced one proper romantic relationship in the course of his short life. It is known that early in his life he proposed to three women – for the sake of financial stability – and was rejected each time.

First, he had a very volatile relationship with a neighbor. They wanted to get married, but she drank poison when her family upset her decision.

In 1882 he rescued a pregnant prostitute named Sien Hoornik and her daughter. They moved into his one-room apartment with him. They entered into a romantic relationship, which Van Gogh’s family was very much opposed to. Their romance lasted only 18 months, after which Vincent moved to Paris alone. In Paris he fell in love with an Italian restaurant owner, Agostina Segatori, but this relationship proved challenging and things ended a short time later.[4]

6 Plagued by many diseases

One of the main reasons for Van Gogh’s troubled life and instability was the numerous health disorders he suffered from, most of which were mental disorders that ran in his family. More than a century after his death, the mystery of his mental health remains to be unraveled. But it wasn’t until he was 30 that his mental health started to go downhill dramatically.

The downward spiral of his mental health is told in the letters he exchanged with his brother Theo. Upon examining the symptoms mentioned in these letters and in the authorized file at the Saint-Rémy Asylum (where he was admitted), he experienced seizures, anxiety, insomnia and hallucinations. It has been suggested that he suffered from bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, repeated self-mutilation (tactlessly dubbed “Van Gogh” syndrome), and alcohol withdrawal.[5]

5 Debated details of the fate of his left ear

One of the most infamous details of Van Gogh’s life has to be the incident in which he cut off his ear, but the details of this incident have been greatly exaggerated. In 1888 he rented a house in Arles, hoping to find an artist community and to be less of a burden on his brother. One of his good friends and fellow artists, Paul Gauguin, moved in with him and they collaborated on her work.

They lived and worked together for two months, but tension seemed to build between them, and in a fit Van Gogh pulled a knife on Gauguin. Rather than inflicting any injuries on Gauguin, he only cut off the lobe of his left ear, not the entire ear. Though debate still rages on how much of the appendix was removed — somewhere between the earlobe, the earlobe plus a bit of the outer edge, and the entire ear. It is said that he gave the remains of his ear to a prostitute at a nearby brothel and was hospitalized for the coming days.[6]

4 Starry Night

As one of the most outstanding and eye-catching works of art, you may be surprised to learn that this is legendary Starry Night was painted in a small room in the Saint-Paul-de Mausoléo asylum. Van Gogh entered the asylum voluntarily after experiencing several manic episodes and realizing that depression had begun to take its toll. He was given a separate small studio where he was allowed to paint.

The studio window overlooked a small village and he was fascinated by how large the stars appeared through his window. He then created an oil on canvas painting of the landscape. Despite its persuasive nature, Van Gogh had an extreme dislike for this painting of his, calling it a failure.[7]

3 Mostly painted landscapes due to a lack of models

If you look at a portfolio of Vincent Van Gogh’s works, it becomes clear that most of his artworks are landscapes, with very few exceptions for family and friends. This was not primarily voluntary; He could not get models for his portraits because, firstly, he lived in poverty most of his life and therefore could not afford models. Second, due to his deteriorating mental health, he showed signs of extreme aggression and hysteria. This caused the people of his town to view him as a public menace and avoid him. As a result, no one ever volunteered to be his model, and as he was branded a ‘failing artist’ in his time, no one hired him to make portraits for them either.

He has a huge collection of self-portraits, with a few exceptions including Dr. Gachet, the postman Joseph Roulin, and some prostitutes he met in Paris.[8]

2 Almost no work of art sold during his lifetime

Vincent van Gogh was the epitome of the starving artist of his time. Because his work was considered “ugly” at the time and age, he was only able to sell a handful of paintings and a few drawings in 10 years. Most of these were commissioned or purchased by friends or family. However, he evidently traded far more paintings with other artists or patrons for food or painting supplies, so far more of his work was available during his lifetime. Unfortunately, Van Gogh did not reap the financial benefits that his paintings now bring. But the conventionally proclaimed theory is that for a long time he could only sell one picture until he painted The Red Vineyard in 1888.

Invited to a group exhibition in Brussels, Van Gogh sent six paintings to be exhibited with the group. One of those paintings was The Red Vineyard. Anna Boch, herself an artist, art collector and sister of a close friend of Van Gogh, bought the painting for 400 francs because she wanted to motivate Van Gogh and make her brother happy.[9]

1 Suicide

The reason Van Gogh died is known, but the details were somewhat flawed. Van Gogh had visited a field near Auvers which he had been painting for some time. One day he traveled there and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself. Although it is often assumed that he died there, he did not hit any vital organs, so death was not instantaneous. Instead, he went back to the inn where he was staying.

Unfortunately, the bullet lodged so deep inside him that the doctors couldn’t remove it. As a result, an infection developed. And two days after shooting himself in the abdomen, he died on July 29, 1890, with his brother Theo by his side.

However, this report has been denied, and some claim that he was accidentally – perhaps intentionally – shot dead by a couple of young teenagers while he was in the field. To protect the boys, Van Gogh claimed he did it himself, which his brother and the doctor who saw him afterwards believed. Unfortunately, the truth may never be known.[10]

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