Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Vincent van Gogh was born in Holland on 30 March 1853. When he was younger he drew from time to time, but there was little sign as yet of any special artistic talent. He quit his secondary school in his second year of secondary school for unknown reasons. Vincent never went back to school. Vincent’s uncle gave him a job as a trainee at the an international art dealership Through this job he went to London. Vincent visited famous institutions like the British Museum and the National Gallery. Despite his interest in art, Vincent didn’t like his job at the art firm and left. Vincent often included little sketches in the letters he sent his brother Theo (who worked at his old art firm in France).This turned his life around, when Theo advised him to concentrate more on his drawing. Vincent took painting lessons from a cousin by marriage, the celebrated artist Anton Mauve. Mauve taught Vincent the basics of painting. French tastes ran more to colour, while Vincent’s work was dark. He decided to enroll at the academy of art in Antwerp and left the Netherlands. Antwerp had plenty to offer Vincent. The drawing classes he took at the academy were too traditional for him. He did not stay for long. He arranged with Theo to come to Paris and take lessons in the studio of an artist. Theo began to look for a place large enough for him and his brother, but before he could find one, Vincent turned up in Paris at the end of February 1886. Vincent’s work grew steadily brighter in Paris, under the influence of modern art. He used brighter colours and developed his own style of painting, with short brush strokes. The themes he painted likewise changed. Meanwhile, he discovered a new source of inspiration in Japanese woodcuts. The influence of the bold outlines, cropping and colour contrasts in these prints showed through immediately in his own work. After two years, Vincent began to tire of Paris. He longed for the peace of the countryside, for sun, and for the light and colour of ‘Japanese’ landscapes, which he hoped to find in Arles Vincent was delighted with the bright light and colours in Arles painting orchards in blossom and workers gathering the harvest. He began to get lonely after another artist was going to leave and cut off his ear in frustration .The morning after he cut off part of his ear, Vincent was admitted to the hospital .Theo rushed down on the train as soon as he heard the news. Theo returned to Paris immediately after visiting the hospital, He remembered little about the ear incident and when he was discharged from the hospital. he resumed painting. In the months that followed, however, his mental health went bad sharply. He had himself voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Once Vincent had recovered sufficiently at the clinic, he began working again. On his good days, he often painted in the institution’s walled garden and he was later allowed to work outside the hospital too. He was given a room in the clinic to use as a studio. Vincent’s mental health continued to fluctuate Theo married in Amsterdam in 1889. Theo and Jo had named their son after him. Vincent sent them painting from the hospital. Six of Vincent’s paintings were shown in Brussels in early 1890 at a group exhibition. an art critic published a positive article about paintings one was sold during the show( his only painting sold in his lifetime). He learned that Theo was thinking of quitting his job. Vincent returned a worried man. But financial uncertainty took a heavy toll on Van Gogh’s health. He could not shake off his gloom about the future. No matter how ‘healthy and fortifying’ Vincent found the countryside, it was to no avail. His illness and his uncertainty about the future became too much. On 27 July 1890, he walked into a wheat field and shot himself in the chest with a pistol. The wounded artist staggered back to his room. Theo rushed from Paris and was present when his brother died of his injuries on 29 July, aged 37.Vincent was buried at on 30 July 1890. His legacy his art: over 850 paintings. After Vincent’s death, Theo organized a memorial exhibition of his brother’s work. His many setbacks meant his own health was now steadily deteriorating too. Shortly after the exhibition, he resigned with immediate effect, and promptly suffered a severe nervous breakdown. Theo was admitted to a clinic, suffering mental symptoms. He died barely half a year after his brother’s death. Vincent’s paintings now came under the care of Theo’s widow,Jo sought to raise public awareness of Vincent’s paintings in various ways, including exhibition loans to museums all over the world. More and more buyers emerged for Van Gogh’s work.In 1914, Following Jo’s death in 1925 Vincent and Theo’s art collection passed to her son, Vincent Willem van Gogh, who loaned his uncle’s paintings to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1930.As Vincent’s fame grew, however, there were calls for the collection to be placed in a dedicated museum.In 1962, with the consent of the State of the Netherlands, Vincent jr. transferred the Van Gogh collection to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation. In return, the State undertook to build the Van Gogh Museum and subsequently to ensure that the collection is accessible to everyone forever.Eleven years later the works were moved from the Stedelijk Museum to a specially designed building by Gerrit Rietveld.Queen Juliana opened the Van Gogh Museum in 1973, since when it has drawn visitors from every corner of the world. Two million people now visit the museum every year.

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