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Vincent van Gogh

Dutch, 1853-1890

Biography

Primarily self-taught and unappreciated during his lifetime, Vincent van Gogh made over 900 paintings and 1,100 works on paper during the decade that he worked as an artist. Influenced by Jean-Francois Millet and the Barbizon School artists, van Gogh’s early work comprises dour portraits of Dutch peasants and depressing rural landscapes. In 1886-88 he moved to Paris, where Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism had a big impact on his painting. He brightened his palette, experimented with shorter brushstrokes, impasto, and complementary colors. The paintings he made in Paris announce the bolder Post-Impressionist style that he is best known for today. Emotionally unstable, humorless, and argumentative, van Gogh eventually had a breakdown and moved to an asylum in the south of France where he painted landscapes, portraits, interiors and still lifes steeped with personal symbolism.

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