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11 Interesting Facts About Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is one of the fascinating artists in history. Explore some interesting Facts About Van Gogh below!

He is one of the most well-known artists in history, but he was not widely known during his lifetime and faced financial hardship. What would he think about his post-mortem fame and how it affected him?

Despite his fame, many people don’t know much about Vincent van Gogh’s life. Here are 11 fascinating facts about Vincent van Gogh.

Facts About Vincent van Gogh

1. There were also four Vincent van Goghs.

Vincent van Gogh wasn’t the only one with his name in the family. Van Gogh, the artist, was named after his older brother, who died in childbirth, and was then named after their grandfather.

Vincent was also named by his brother Theo van Gogh.

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2. He began painting only at 27.

Van Gogh began painting only at 27 years old. He was mostly self-taught. His first paintings were not as colorful as the ones most people know. He used a limited palette of colors when he first started to paint and painted the harsh realities of daily life. Many of his early paintings featured poverty and financial hardship as a theme. This is an example of the way he began his career.

He began using vivid colors later in his artistic career.

3. Paul Gauguin was close to him.

In Paris, Van Gogh met Paul Gauguin in 1887. They painted together often, but their styles were very different.

It is believed that his friendship with Gauguin ended after the ear-chopping incident, which involved both of them (this topic is discussed later).

Van Gogh spoke of Gauguin in a letter addressed to Theo in 1888. Gauguin inspires me to imagine and gives me the courage to dream.

4. Through the many letters he wrote, his life is well documented.

During his life, Van Gogh wrote more than 800 letters to his brother, Theo, and his close friends, Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, and Emile Bernard. Although many of the letters are undated, historians have been able to place the majority of them in chronological order.

These letters provide an insight into van Gogh’s world and are the best source of information on van Gogh’s life.

Van Gogh’s brother Theo exchanged over 600 letters. These letters tell the story of their friendship over 600 times. Van Gogh sent all his letters to Theo, while van Gogh only kept a few of his letters. Theo’s widow, Johanna van Gogh edited the letters after they died. The majority of the letters were published between 1914 and 1918.

5. Before he became an artist, he tried many other professions.

In the last ten years of his short but very brief life, Van Gogh only became a painter. Before he became a painter, he tried many other jobs, including being an art dealer (like his brother Theo), a school teacher, and a preacher.

These areas did not succeed, and he declared himself an artist to Theo in 1880. In pursuit of his artistic vision, he traveled to France, Holland, and Belgium.

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6. During his time as an artist, he was very busy.

Van Gogh lived a short time as an artist. However, he produced around 2,100 artworks during that period, including around 860 oil paintings. Many of his paintings were made in the final two years of Van Gogh’s life.

It’s amazing to think that, despite his financial difficulties and mental illness, he was still able to create a bodywork that is more than many artists can do in a lifetime.

7. In 1990, his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was sold for $82.5 million.

Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most valuable paintings in history. In 1990, Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet, which he had painted in 1890, sold for $82.5million. It’s not bad, considering the financial hardship he endured for most of his adult life.

8. He didn’t have much success in the commercial world during his life.

Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. It was the Red Vineyards near Arles. He might have enjoyed some of the rewards of his fame if he had lived longer.

9. He was plagued by illness.

Van Gogh suffered from mental illness throughout his entire life. He was admitted to psychiatric hospitals for a time, including one stay at Saint-Remy.

There is evidence that van Gogh suffered from manic depression, psychotic episodes, and delusions. Modern psychiatrists attempted to diagnose van Gogh using a variety of diagnoses, including schizophrenia, porphyria, and bipolar disorder.

Poor diet and excessive drinking were also factors that contributed to his poor physical health. It is not known if this contributed to his poor mental state.

10. He did the cutting himself.

Many theories surround the van Gogh ear-cutting incident. One theory is that van Gogh used a razor to cut his left ear after a fight with Paul Gauguin. The partially-severed ear was wrapped in paper, and he delivered it to Gauguin at a brothel.

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11. In 1890, he committed suicide.

Van Gogh, who was then 27 years old, shot himself in his chest on the 27th of July 1890. He died two days later. The shooting occurred in the same wheat field that van Gogh was painting. He was able to walk back to Auberge Ravoux after the shooting. Two doctors treated him. He died from complications of infection. His brother Theo said that his last words were “La tristesse Durera Always,” which means:

“The sadness will never end.”

Thank you for reading!

Shreya is a young mind who is always in search of creativity, be it in work or living a life. She's a keen observer who loves to pen down her thoughts on anything and everything. With a factful mind, she's here sharing some with you!


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