Biography of Vincent Van Gogh(1853-1890)


Everyone has heard of Vincent Van Gogh. But do we really know the man behind the paintings?

We’ve put together a short biography of Vincent Van Gogh and some background information about his art that was inspired by the intense colours and light of Provence.

You’ll find out some interesting facts about Vincent Van Gogh, and we’ll show you some famous Vincent Van Gogh paintings.

Biography of Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853. He spent the first years of his adult life working as an art dealer and missionary. With encouragement from his brother Theo, he moved to Belgium in 1885 to study art. His most famous work from this period is The Potato Eaters.

In 1886 he moved to Paris, where he met artists such as Pissarro, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. This is when he started to paint with short brushstrokes, characteristic of the Impressionist period, and with more vivid colours.

In 1888 he moved to Arles with the intention of opening an art school with his friends. He rented the Yellow House (on Place Lamartine – the house was destroyed during WWII) and invited Gauguin to join him.

Van Gogh spent only a short period of time in Arles for just over a year) but it was also one of his most prolific, producing well over 200 paintings.

Unfortunately this was also a period when his mental health began to deteriorate. He suffered psychotic episodes, epilepsy, and delusions. He had a violent argument with Gauguin, threatening him with a razor. Later that night, in deep remorse, he cut his own ear with a knife.

He spent a year in an asylum in St-Rémy de Provence (voluntarily), setting up a studio there and continuing to paint. He produced one of the most famous Van Gogh paintings of all time – Starry Night – during this time.

He moved back to Paris in 1890, under the care of a physician. He continued to paint and churned out almost one painting a day. Three months later he committed suicide.

He was 37 years old. During his short lifetime Van Gogh produced over 2,000 paintings and drawings. He only sold only one painting in his lifetime.

As well as a biography on Vincent Van Gogh, we thought you might be interested in seeing some pictures of his most famous paintings (see below).

Starry Night is probably the most well known, followed by The Café Terrace.

The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum

Starry Night Over the Rhone

Buy From

Starry Night

Buy From

Vincent Van Gogh Pictures, Paintings of Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh Self Portrait, Starry Night by Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers, and more!

If you’d like to read a more detailed biography of Vincent Van Gogh, you might be interested in these two websites: and

They also provide an analysis of the most famous van gogh paintings, as well as his drawings and letters and a full catalogue of his work.

We’d like to extend a personal thank you to David Brooks, the founder of the vangoghgallery who has spent many hours converting Van Gogh’s work into digital format for us all to enjoy.

We hope you found this biography of Vincent Van Gogh useful.

More about Arles

More about Provence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *