Vincent Van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was one of the greatest Dutch artists and a forerunner of the post-impressionism genre of painting. With his unique style and rich usage of colors, Van Gogh made unprecedented advancements in the field of this all new genre of artistry.
Van Gogh did not try his hand at being an artist before 1880. He had previously undertaken various professions like being an assistant to an art dealer, a clerk and various others. He also worked as a preacher and later as a missionary, though he was unsuccessful on both of those stints.
During his early years as an artist, Van Gogh specialized in creating pencil sketches of various objects and sceneries. He always advocated learning how to draw before moving on to using colors. He advised about learning the standard rules of modeling and perspective, all of which, he said, “you have to know just to be able to draw the least thing.” This devotion in his learning showed itself in his early works, mostly pencil sketches, which were highly detailed in their representation of the objects on focus. Initially, when he started painting his works of art, his choice of colors mostly revolved around warm earthy colors like dark brown. Later, a visit to The Hague and interactions with the master painters there convinced him to add more bright colors like yellow, red, blue, etc., to his standard palette.
Van Gogh spent his final years in abject poverty, surviving only on bread, coffee and tobacco. His body took a heavy blow from his unhealthy habits and he fell sick frequently. In 1890, heartbroken from lack of success and loneliness, he committed suicide, saying it was “…for the good of all”, thus ending the life of one of the greatest modern artists ever.
During the last two years of his life, Van Gogh painted most of his major works, including his most famous works, “Starry Night” and “Café Terrace at Night”. From 1880 to 1890 this prolific painter had created over 900 oil paintings and over 1100 sketch works. Most of his famous works never received much enthusiasm from art dealers or collectors during his lifetime. However, about 11 years after his death, his paintings started receiving widespread acceptance from art collectors. Today, Vincent Van Gogh’s works are among the most sought after artworks in the world.