The more you know


He was born on March 30, 1855 in a Dutch village bordering Belgium; his name derives from his dead brother and this weighs on him because he feels like a substitute.
His upbringing is very strict as his father is a Protestant pastor; he leads a very sad childhood because he is very introverted and shy and lives his adolescence uncomfortably.
At the age of 16 he works with his uncle in The Hague where he is an art dealer, later he moves to London where he falls in love with the landlady’s daughter, but his love for him is not reciprocated: first crisis; he leaves London and goes to Paris but here he is listless and depressed and cannot work so that his uncle fires him.
He returns to London where he works for a private school and begins to frequent the poorest neighborhoods to go and collect the fees; bumping into poverty, religion is awakened in him and he becomes a Protestant pastor; he returns to Holland and enrolls in a seminar but, as the exams are very difficult, he does not pass them (second crisis).
Being very convinced of his faith, he leaves the same for Buorinage, in Belgium, where he lives and works with the miners in absolute poverty; in this period he approaches art in fact he begins to make sketches; he will devote himself completely to art at the age of 27 when he began to paint. The ecclesiastical authorities learn that he is in Bourinage and dismiss him (third crisis).
The arc of light as an artist lasts 10 years.
He enrolled at the Antwerp academy but did not pass the exams and decided to join his brother Theo in Paris; the brother also worked for his uncle and it is of vital importance because he will keep it for life, they are in symbiosis.
In Paris he meets the Impressionists, at the beginning his brushstrokes are dense and dark, they smell of Realism; following the meeting, his palette clears and his way of painting changes, the brushstroke becomes light and vibrant.
He keeps saying to himself: “This is art but there cannot be only this” because it did not reflect his way of painting, his path is different.
He met Pissarro and Toulouse Lautrec who advised him to go to the South to find the best light and the most vivid and intense colors.
In 1888 (earthquake of modern art) and decides to organize a school “atelier du midì” (school of midday) and would like Gauguin next to him, so Van Gogh rents the yellow house (his favorite color, it symbolizes friendship in Japanese ) to prepare for his arrival and storm him with letters but Gauguin has a completely different life and only his brother Theo manages to convince him, who also pays him for the trip.
They begin to paint together, even for 16 hours, forgetting to eat and drink; but the union between the two does not work as Van Gogh quarrelsome and disorderly and Gauguin reflexive and orderly.
After a series of arguments, on the night of December 23 fighting, Van Gogh throws a glass of absinthe in his face and chases him with a razor so that Gauguin runs off to a hotel and they will never see each other again.
For this he is very sorry and mortified, he cuts the lobe of his left ear, puts it in a handkerchief and goes to a brothel in the city where he passes out.
He enters various clinics, including Saint Remì, the doctors however let him paint because they notice that while he paints he calms down and lets himself go, the brushstrokes are tortuous and mellow; far from pure color impressionism.
Expressionism was born, which expresses what is inside and knows the existence of Doctor Gachet, an art lover and an impressionist friend, he hosted him in Auvers-sur-Olse and they became friends.
In the meantime Theo gets married and has a son he calls Vincent, this news cheers him up but on the one hand it weighs on him because his brother has a family and has to support him.
On July 27, 1890 he goes for a walk in a cornfield with a raven gun and he fires a shot in the heart, but the shot was deflected and he manages to get to the house of Doctor Gachet where he will remain in agony for two days. ; the brother died six months later of a heart attack and they were buried nearby.
Throughout his life he does not sell paintings but thanks to the insistence of his brother he exhibits.
FIRST PERIOD: Van Gogh is affected by Dutch realism; dense, mellow and dark colors.
SECOND PERIOD: impressionism influence; vibrant and fast colors
THIRD PERIOD: “true Van Gogh” expressionism; primary and secondary colors, pure without half tones, he will say: “I want to paint terrible human passions with red and green”.
“Coffee at night”: billiards seem to tremble, there is no longer any perspective; man alone represents restlessness, expresses his passions.

Cornfield with the flight of crows“: the brushstroke is dragged, given with tubes; the sky is dark, gloomy and menacing; he sees nature as a projection of his feelings.


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