A Brief History of Vincent van Gogh

Known for both his mental instability and his art, Vincent van Gogh is the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, and although he remained virtually unknown through most of his life, much of his work is considered priceless today. He led a long and difficult life, fraught with loneliness and the mental illness that plagued him, but there are few other people in history that have left such a powerful legacy.

Early Life

Van Gogh was born Vincent Willem van Gogh on March 30, 1854. He was born in a town called Groot-Zundert, situated in the Netherlands, in a world completely different to the one we know, devoid of modern mental health institutions, and many of the modern luxuries we enjoy, such as entertainment, casino no deposit, travel, the internet and much more. He grew up with his father and mother, along with five siblings, where he was the eldest.

When he was 15, the van Gogh family was struggling with money, and Vincent was forced to go out and look for work, where he found work at an art dealership. By this time in his life, van Gogh was fluent in a number of languages, including his native Dutch, as well as German, English, and French. Some years later he taught at a Methodist boys’ school, where he preached for the congregation. He had hoped to become a minister, but failed due to him refusing to take any of the tests in Latin, calling it a dead language.

Van Gogh’s Madness

We’ve all heard the story of van Gogh removing his own ear, which happened in 2888 when he was living alone in France. Part of it was due to his lifestyle: van Gogh subsisted on coffee, bread, and absinthe for a long time. Not only was he suffering physically, but his mental health was also declining rapidly, and it was during this time where he began eating paint and drinking turpentine.

His brother, Theo, had become worried, and he offered Paul Gauguin money to keep watch of van Gogh, and to make sure he didn’t do anything destructive. Gauguin and van Gogh did not get on well, and one night a month later, Gauguin walked in on van Gogh wielding a razor covered in blood, having removed his year.

Later Years and Death

By his own decision, van Gogh moved into Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, after a petition went out, with many claiming that the artist was too dangerous to have around. During his time in the asylum, he created some of his most well known pieces, including “Irises” and “Starry Night.”

In 1890, van Gogh had become the painter of Dr. Paul Gachet, who was living in Auvers, just north of Paris. The doctor agreed to take on van Gogh as his patient, and the artist moved to Auvers. In July of that same year, van Gogh’s mental struggles finally got the better of him, and he committed suicide in the room he had rented.