Vincent van Gogh, a nineteenth century Dutch painter, is among the most famous artists of all times. The eldest son of a Protestant minister, he was born on March 30th, 1853 in Groot Zundert. Restless and sensitive by nature, he worked for a short time in an art dealing firm, but soon had a religious revelation, which lead him to study theology and attend a school for evangelists. At the age of 25, he was sent to preach in the mining region of Borinage, in Belgium. His closeness to the miners and his support of their plight aroused the suspicion of the authorities, who suspended him from office. Van Gogh remained in this region for a considerable time and it was here that he made his first sketches. He began to study painting at 27, thanks to the support of his brother Theo . He made his debut with realist paintings. These included stilllives , village scenes, and paintings of farmers and weavers, all painted with intense emotion and in dark colors. His painting, The Potato Eaters, belongs to this early period. In 1886, van Gogh moved to Paris with his brother Theo , who worked as an art dealer . In the French capital , Van Gogh learned of the latest developments in modern art and this was reflected in his paintings. He started to use bright cheerful colors , applied with long brush strokes. He also extended the range of his subjects , painting portraits and city scenes.

In 1888 he went to Arles , in Provence in search of peace and quiet. It was here that he painted landscapes flooded with light , wheat fields and flower gardens. and lived in the famous "yellow house" , where he dreamt of establishing a community of artists . He met his friend, the painter Paul Gauguin, in Arles. For a short time the two painted together , but conflicts soon arose. After a violent quarrel , Gauguin decided to leave. Van Gogh, deeply shaken , cut off his ear. Afflicted by frequent nervous breakdowns , he was admitted to hospital in Arles on several occasions. Later, he decided to admit himself the asylum of Saint - Remy. His only comfort was the affection of his brother Theo , with whom he maintained a close correspondence. Despite his health problems, Van Gogh continued painting, during his hospitalization and in Auvers -sur -Oise , where he had moved in the spring of 1890. Dr. Gachet , his friend and a fellow art lover, took care of him. In Van Gogh’s last works , the colors becamemore intense and his subjects increasingly evolved into distorted shapes . An example from this period would be Starry Night where a common landscape is almost transfigured . In the summer of 1890, while he was painting in the middle of cornfields, Van Gogh suffered his last nervous breakdown. He died July 29, 1890, at the age of 37, after shooting himself in the chest.
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