Do You Know Your Gogh?!Fun Facts About Vincent Van Gogh To Celebrate His Birthday Month!
Vincent van Gogh is arguably one of the TOP ARTISTS of all time. Known for his post-impressionistic works of art, filled with color and bold brushstrokes. You can recognize some of his most popular paintings like 'Starry Night' and 'Sunflowers', as they're works that you've seen for years, anywhere from in art class to magnets on the fridge or artwork in a living room.
If you've been luck enough to see one of his masterpieces in a museum, you can understand just why they're so loved.
He poured his heart and tortured soul into these paintings and sketches, showcasing the deepest parts of himself for others to admire. Though just one of his paintings was sold while he was alive (and most people didn't understand his work at the time), he is one of the most accomplished artists of all time and one whose work has always been and will always be studied, admired, and inspirationally replicated.
Here are some interesting facts about Van Gogh for you to read about and be sure to check out our calendar, as we often offer Van Gogh paintings that YOU can come in and create for your ow home!
(1) He attempted many other careers before declaring himself an artist.
Van Gogh was only a painter for the last decade of his relatively short life. Before painting, he tried his hand at many other careers such as an art dealer (like his brother Theo), school teacher and preacher.
(2) He had little success in any of these areas and announced himself as an artist in a letter to Theo in 1880. He then traveled through Belgium, Holland and France in pursuit of his artistic vision.
(3) He was extremely busy during his time as an artist.
Van Gogh had a relatively short life as an artist, however during this time of around 10 years he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings. Many of his paintings were created in the last two years of his life.
It is amazing to think that despite the financial hardship and mental illness which he suffered, he was able to create a body of work greater than most artists are able to complete in a lifetime much longer than his own.
(4) He did not experience much commercial success during his lifetime.
In fact, van Gogh is only thought to have sold one painting during his lifetime, being the Red Vineyards Near Arles. Had he lived a bit longer, he may have had the chance to experience some of the fruits of his later fame.
(5) Only the lobe, not the whole ear was cut off
It’s popularly believed that van Gogh cut off his ear but he actually only severed a part of the ear lobe. The accepted version is that the artist mutilated himself with a razor after an argument with his friend Paul Gauguin in Arles where they were both staying during Christmas of 1888. He then ran to a bordello and presented the cut lobe to a prostitute. A new book by two German historians purports that what really happened is that Gauguin lopped off his friend’s lobe while they were fencing and the self-mutilation was concocted between the two to avoid embarrassment and arrest. Van Gogh immortalized his wound in his Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.
(6) His Most Famous Work Was Done in an Asylum
Starry Night, arguably his most famous work, was painted in an asylum at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. He voluntarily admitted himself there to recover from his 1888 nervous breakdown which resulted in the ear-cutting incident. The painting depicts the view from his bedroom window. It has been part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection since 1941.
(7) He died at 37
On July 27, 1890, van Gogh shot himself in the chest. There were no witnesses and the gun was never found. He committed the act either in the wheat field he had been painting or in a barn. He was able to stagger to the auberge in Auvers where he was staying. Two doctors tended to him, but the bullet could not be removed because there was no surgeon available. He died on July 29, 1890 from an infection in the wound. His brother Theo later wrote to their sister Elizabeth,
“In the last letter which he wrote me and which dates from some four days before his death, it says, ‘I try to do as well as certain painters whom I have greatly loved and admired.’ People should realize that he was a great artist, something which often coincides with being a great human being. In the course of time this will surely be acknowledged, and many will regret his early death.” Theo, who had been supporting his brother, died six month later. Theo’s wife dedicated herself to collecting her late brother-in-law’s work and thanks to her diligence, it began to receive recognition 11 years later.
(8) Suicide Or Accidental Murder?
Though the story of Van Gogh’s death is factually known as “suicide”, though there is much debate about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. If you’re a big fan of true crime and mysteries, you’ll enjoy this: