(Exeter Art Ebook)
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890), whose paintings now command millions of dollars at each auction, died impoverished at the early age of 37. He left behind an astonishing body of work which included several hundred paintings created over a short period and a large quantity of drawings and sketches.
Born in the Netherlands, the son of a Protestant pastor, Van Gogh was emotionally unstable and suffered frequent bouts of severe mental depression (which resulted in his eventual suicide). Although frequently linked with the Impressionists he has no real artistic connection with them and his work stands as a highly individual expression of his disturbed temperament.
His most notable works, which were created in the last three and a half years of his life, are of his friends, acquaintances, and the landscape around Arles in southern France. The miracle of Van Gogh is that he was able to produce such a dominating body of deeply moving images while living a life of ultimate desperation in an increasing state of mental imbalance.