Every century great artists are born but some become legends, and their shine does not dim even after 100 years. Vincent Van Gogh is one such artist, but unfortunately, he was not considered successful during his lifetime. Only after he committed suicide did the world realise his greatness.
He was born in 1853 in an upper middle-class family. He was serious and a quiet child. He started to draw from a very young age. Once he grew up, he started his journey as an art dealer. He was required to travel extensively, something he did not appreciate. In fact, after he was transferred to London he went into a depression. As his health failed him he turned to religion.
When he was 27 years old he started to paint and created a sort of record with 2100 artworks in just over a decade. His collections include 860 oil paintings, most of which were completed in last 2 years of his life.
He is one of Netherlands’ greatest and most famous artist who truly changed the history of art forever. It is really sad that his greatness was realised by the World, only after he committed suicide at the age of 39 following years of mental illness and poverty.
His works include landscapes, still, life portraits, self-portraits characterised by bold colours, dramatic expressive brush works and is like watching a high drama movie. He started including olive trees, cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers in his paintings.
During his illness, he was supported by his brother financially with whom he shared a great bonding. He, however, did not pay enough attention to his health, drank heavily and suffered due to mental health.
As time passed his painting became more bold and colourful, a style he developed while staying in Arles, South France during 1888. As the world turned into 20th century his greatness was increasingly acknowledged.
I had the good fortune of watching some of his great works displayed in The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne during my recent visit. The exhibition was called Van Gogh and the Seasons and was presented within sections devoted to each of the four seasons.