Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
As one of the leaders of the post-impressionist movement, Gogh's art represents the idea of emotional spontaneity in painting. Famous van Gogh paintings, such as Starry Night and Self Portrait, have served as a major influence on scores of other artists.
Born March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Denmark, he often presented a moody, impatient disposition that would be the downfall for most of his professional pursuits. Early van Gogh paintings reflect on his time as an Evangelical preacher in Belgium, where he ministered among the miners at Wasmes. Gogh's brother Theo, an art dealer, encouraged Vincent to move to Paris in early 1886
In 1888, van Gogh moved to the town of Arles in southern France. All visible phenomena, whether painted or hand-drawn, seemed to be infused with a physical and spiritual strength that can be seen throughout many van Gogh paintings. During this enthusiastic time for van Gogh, he persuaded fellow artist Paul Gauguin to join him in Arles. Two months after Gauguin's arrival, the two artists began to have violent arguments, one of which culminated in van Gogh threatening Gauguin with a razor. Later that night, van Gogh sliced off part of his own ear in remorse over the threat.
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