Vincent Van Gogh

Jillian Cooper


  • Born on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands under the name Vincent Willem van Gogh.
  • Father, Theodorus aan Gogh, was a country minister and mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was an artist.
  • Was a serious, sensitive boy who preferred solitude.
  • Attended the local village school before moving to a boarding school in Zevenbergen, then transferred to a high school in Tilburg.
  • Five younger siblings, Theo, Cornelius, Anna, Elizabeth, and Huberta.
  • Born one year after brother, who was stillborn. Named after him.
  • Age 15 his family was struggling financially and he was forced to leave school and work for his Uncle at an art dealership.
  • Fluent in French, German, English, and Dutch.

Struggles and Obstacles

  • Rejected by the landlady's daughter, Eugenie, and suffered a breakdown. Devoted himself to God and threw out all his books. Became angry at people at work, the Groupil Gallery in London, claiming the art was "worthless" and they shouldn't buy it, and was eventually fired.
  • Preached in an impoverished coal mine south of Belgium, where he preached and ministered the sick. Drew their families for them. Was eventually fired because of how pessimistic his preachings were.
  • Fell in love with his widowed cousin, Kate. She was repulsed and fled. He then moved to the Hauge and fell in love with an alcoholic prostitute, who became his companion. She eventually went back to prostitution and abandoned van Gogh.
  • Became depressed because of rejection from the prostitute and family threatened to cut off his funds. Left to return to the Drenthe in the Netherlands and lived a nomadic life for several weeks.

Working to Achieve

  • in 1880, van Gogh moved to Brussels to work as an artist and was supported financially by his younger brother, Theo. Vincent began to take art lessons and read books about art.
  • in 1886 van Gogh moved to Paris to be with Theo. There, he was inspired by impressionist art and began studying with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Saved money by having his friends model for him. Often bickered with other artists about art.
  • Became influenced by Japanese art and in February 1888, traveled to southern France. Moved into a "little yellow house" and spent his money on paint rather than food. His physical and psychological state began to decline, but he continued painting.
  • Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear and offered it to a prostitute in his declining psychological state. He was admitted to the Hotel-Dieu hospital, where he had violent seizures, and was released January 1889. He turned to painting nature to keep himself happy.
  • The people of Aries signed a petition saying van Gogh was too unstable to keep around, and he moved to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum. He painted in the hospital gardens and was invited to Brussels to display six paintings in a gallery, including "Starry Night" and "Irises".

Viewing Challenges Differently.

Although rejected by a multitude of women, van Gogh used the rejections as inspiration to paint more artwork and pursue different love. His sickly physical and mental state was considered by many to be his downfall, but during this time is when he painted his most famous works, such as "Irises" and "Starry Nights". Van Gogh used his disablities not to hold him down, but to inspire him to create more artwork before it was too late. Because of this he is now one of the most world renowned artists in the world.