Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30th 1853 in North Brabant.Three of his father's brothers were art dealers so it is not surprising that Vincent and his brother Theo went into the art dealing business. Vincent was not successful and after other failures he studied for the church but was dismissed for 'excess of zeal'.He began to draw in 1880 influenced by the 'social realism' of working class life depicted by English illustrators. In 1886 he joined his brother in Paris. The sight of Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist works and of the Japanese prints which were fashionable in Paris had a great effect on his work which had previously been relatively sombre. He met Pissarro who at that time was moving towards Pointillism and Van Gogh developed his own longer brush strokes from that. Seeking warmth and colour in the south, he went to Arles in 1888. In the tragic period that followed his quarrel with Gaugin he painted some of his greatest pictures. He shot himself at Auvers on July 27th and died two days later. Van Gogh was certainly a troubled soul and we wondered how he would have survived for so long without the constant support of his brother, Theo. Pissarro said of him "I knew he would either go mad or surpass us all. But I did not know he would do both." Van Gogh said of his own work "I cannot help it that my paintings do not sell. The time will come when people will see that they are worth more than the price of the paint."