preview

Vincent Van Gogh Essay example

Decent Essays
Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter, whose work represents the archetype of expressionism, the idea of emotional spontaneity in painting. Van Gogh was born March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, son of a Dutch Protestant pastor. Van Gogh's birth came one year to the day after his mother gave birth to a first, stillborn child; also named Vincent. There has been much speculation about Vincent van Gogh suffering later psychological trauma as a result of being a "replacement child" and having a deceased brother with the same name and same birth date. Early in life, he displayed a moody, restless character that was to spoil his every pursuit. This theory remains unproven, however, and there is no actual historical evidence to…show more content…
These early works evidence were dark and serious, sometimes crude. Unfortunately, this unselfish desire would reach somewhat obsessive proportions when Vincent began to give away most of his food and clothing to the poverty-stricken people under his care. Despite Vincent's noble intentions, representatives of the Church strongly disapproved of van Gogh's somberness and dismissed him from his post in July. Refusing to leave the area, van Gogh moved to an adjacent village, Cuesmes, and remained there in abject poverty. For the next year, Vincent struggled to live from day to day and, though not able to help the village people in any official capacity as a clergyman, he nonetheless chose to remain a member of their community. One day Vincent felt obligated to visit the home of Jules Breton, a French painter he greatly admired, so with only ten francs in his pocket he walked the entire 70 kilometers to Courrières, France, to see Breton. After arriving, however, Vincent was too afraid to knock and returned to Cuesmes absolutely discouraged.
All the years of hard work, of continually refining his technique and learning to work in new media, all served as stepping stones toward the production of Vincent van Gogh's first great painting: Potato Eaters (1885, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam). His experiences as a preacher are reflected in this painting.
Get Access