Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. Born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, van Gogh was the oldest son of a Dutch Protestant pastor. He showed an early interest in art and began drawing as a child. In 1869, he started working for his uncle's art dealership in The Hague, where he was exposed to the works of the Dutch masters.
Van Gogh struggled with mental illness throughout his life, and his tumultuous personal life and lack of recognition during his lifetime were major obstacles to his success as an artist. Despite these challenges, he produced a vast body of work, including over 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, and sketches.
Van Gogh's early work was mostly conventional, but he gradually developed his own distinctive style. He moved to Paris in 1886, where he was influenced by the impressionists and developed a bold, colorful, and expressive approach to painting. He also became friends with artists such as Paul Gauguin, who had a major influence on his work.
In 1888, van Gogh moved to the south of France, where he spent the rest of his life. It was in this period that he produced some of his most famous works, including "The Starry Night" and "Sunflowers." Despite his mental health struggles, van Gogh continued to work tirelessly, producing hundreds of paintings, drawings, and letters during his time in the south of France.
Van Gogh's work was not well-received during his lifetime, and he only sold one painting while he was alive. However, his fame grew posthumously, and his paintings are now some of the most iconic and valuable in the world. He died in 1890 at the age of 37, after shooting himself in the chest. Despite his tragic end, van Gogh's legacy as one of the greatest artists in history endures to this day.