Essay on Vincent Van Gogh

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Van Gogh The rapid evolution of a style characterized by canvases filled with swirling, bright colors depicting people and nature is the essence of Vincent Van Gogh's extremely prolific but tragically short career. Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Holland, son of a Dutch Protestant pastor and eldest of six children. His favorite brother Theo was four years younger. When Vincent was twelve to sixteen years old, he went to a boarding school. That next year he was sent to The Hague to work for an uncle who was an art dealer, but van Gogh was unsuited for a business career. Actually, his early interests were in literature and religion. Very dissatisfied with the way people made money and imbued with a strong sense of mission, he worked for a while as a lay preacher among poverty-stricken miners. Van Gogh represented the religious society that trained him in a poor coal-mining district in Belgium. Vincent took his work so seriously that he went without food and other necessities so he could give more to the poor. The missionary society objected to Vincent's behavior and fired him in 1879. Heartsick, van Gogh struggled to keep going socially and financially, yet he was always rejected by other people, and felt lost and forsaken. Then, in 1880, at age 27, he became obsessed with art. The intensity he had for religion, he now focused on art. His early drawings were crude but strong and full of feeling: It is a hard and a difficult struggle to learn to draw well... I have worked like a slave .... His first paintings had been still lifes and scenes of peasants at work. That which fills my head and heart must be expressed in drawings and in pictures...I'm in a rage of work. In 1881, he moved to Etten. He very much liked pictures of peasant life and labor. Jean-Francois Millet was the first to paint this as a main theme and his works influenced van Gogh.

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