Vincent Van Gogh, pioneer of the Expressionist movement
– No one heard of Vincent van Gogh’s name, except for those who knew him personally, until twelve years after his tragic suicide, when his business was discovered by a Parisian art dealer.
Vincent was born in the Dutch village of Zundert in the south of the Netherlands. He studied theology and became a preacher in the Methodist Church. He also worked for several different art dealers in The Hague, London and Paris.
In 1880 he began painting, at first very traditional and “Dutch”, to reflect the rainy Dutch climate with many dark brown colours.
In 1886, Vincent moved to Paris, and two years later to Arles, on the Mediterranean, near Marseille.
On the twentieth of October of that year, his friend Gauguin joined him in Arles. Vincent’s art became lighter in color, and the light of the Mediterranean sun appeared in it.
Two months after Gauguin came to Arles, Vincent suffered a bout of schizophrenia and cut off a piece of his ear.
In the following years, Vincent began to fall seriously ill, eventually killing himself in 1890. His brother, Theo van Gogh, who had supported Vincent all his life, died seven months after Vincent’s death, probably out of grief.
Van Gogh never sold a painting in his life. Today, his paintings are world bestsellers, admired around the world in many museums and private collections. He has also been celebrated as a pioneer of the Expressionist movement.