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Vincent Van Gogh
Transcript of Vincent Van Gogh
The Yellow House
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch artist born in Holland March 30th 1853 and he died in his brother, Theo's arms on July 29th 1890 at age 37. Vincent and Theo were not only brothers - they were best friends too. Theo died 6 months after Vincent. Vincent was the oldest son of six children to a Protestant preacher father. He was raised with a great interest in art and learned several languages. He was an avid reader also. He didn't start to paint until he was 27 years old. His art career only lasted 10 years before he killed himself due to mental illness. He never sold any work and died broke. One of the reasons his work became so valuable was because he wrote so much about how he was feeling when he painted to his brother Theo and really explained his intention for each painting. The other reason was because Theo's wife Johanna pushed hard to market his work in the art community after Vincent and Theo had died.
Chapter 1: Before Art
Vincent loved art when he was growing up and did a lot of reading so he had a strong opinion about art. After his education Vincent went to work as an art trader for six years. He decided he didn't like the business of art so he left. After that he became a teacher at a boys school but he was fired for being too harsh. Then he went into theology to be trained as a priest but he quit because it was too hard. He then went to a small mining town in Belgium and was hired as an evangelist. He was too intense with people so he was fired. He be-came very depressed & was full of despair. He had sent a sketch to his brother of the coal mine village.
Vincent went to an art academy to learn more about being an artist. He did a lot of drawing and walking. He loved spending time in nature. That was where he felt the safest. Hiis main subjects for his paintings were nature and peasant life. He wanted to portray the mood or feeling of the poor people and also nature. At age 27 he wrote to his brother Theo that he realized that art was the door he had finally discovered to understand his spiritual communion with the world. Throughout Van Gogh's adulthood he had an interest in serving others, especially the manual workers. Since he stopped being an evangelist to the coal miners and peasants, he still wanted to serve them and tell their stories and he did that through painting many pictures of them. This helped him feed his calling of being a missionary. (Farm Worker & Bulb Fields)
Vincent painted everything: from the farmers working in the field to a bowl of fruit to the look out of his window, to a couple courting, or any natural beauty he saw. Vincent didn't eat when he was out in nature so he often got quite sick and weak.
Chapter 4: Some Facts:
Vincent Van Gogh worked very hard at his paintings. The only one who really understood him was his brother Theo. Because Vincent didn't sell hs work, Theo always sent him money to survive. Vincent did his best to perfect his art to be valued in God's eyes. He was very religious and didn't create art for the fame or fortune. He would never know that his art is now the most valuable art in the world thanks to Theo's wife who marketed his work after the two brothers had died. She named her son Vincent to honor Vincent after he died, not knowing her husband Theo would soon die too.
People think that Vincent cut off his own ear due to madness but recent theories show that maybe it was Gaugan in an argument with Vincent when they lived together at the Yellow House, and Vincent covered for his friend.
Chapter 5: His last year:
The last place he lived was the Yellow House. Vincent also painted the cafe on the side of the Yellow House called Cafe Terrace. The Bedroom scene painting was of his bedroom in the yellow house. The Sunflower painting was painted to hang in his friend and fellow artist Gaugan's bedroom when he lived at the Yellow House with Vincent.
After getting the Coalmine painting his brother Theo encouraged him to become an artist. Vincent liked the idea and it seemed to bring him out of his deep depression. Vincent then became obsessed with art and wanted to be the best artist he could be and worked very hard to learn new techniques even though he had no formal training. He thought that he could make money from selling portraits of people and wanted to get better at it so he painted himself a lot. He did many self-portraits over his 10 years as an artist and they all looked sad or disapproving. He didn't like himself, and his expressions in his self-portraits showed this. He was also fascinated with painting people and wanted to capture their feelings. He painted the the sadness and despair of a lot of peasant people in the coal mining town in Belgium where he was living. (See Potato Eaters).
Chapter 2: 1880 Artist Beginnings
Starry Starry Nights
Vincent was very obsessed in the last months before he killed himself and painted 80 paintings in his last 70 days of life. When he died there were several paintings not even dry yet. His very last one was Tree Roots.
Vincent painted two Starry Night paintings. One of them is his most famous painting. He was fascinated by the night sky but this painting was done from memory when he lived in an asylum for the mentally insane.
Don McLean wrote a song about Van Gogh called Vincent and in the song there are many references to Van Gogh's paintings (Starry Night, Sunflowers, Fields, Trees, Peasants and his Self-portraits...)
My mom played me this song many years ago and this introduced me to Vincent Van Gogh. He is my favourite artist and I have learned a lot about him, doing this report.