The nineteenth century was home to many great artists. One of the most predominate artists was Vincent Van Gogh, born on March 30, 1853 in Holland. Van Gogh was an unsuccessful postimpressionist painter during his short, turbulent, tragic life. It is not until after his death that Van Goghs work was truly realized for its unique quality and appreciated. Today he is extolled as an artistic genius. During his life, Van Gogh produced about seven hundred fifty paintings and one thousand six hundred drawings; however, he only had sold one.
A vast majority of his work was produced in twenty-nine months of his life with frantic activity and seizures with profound depression, which ended in his suicide in July 29, 1890. Van Gogh lived a chaotic life that was marked by episodes of distress, hostility, abnormal behavior, and filled with disappointment in every pursuit he attempted. Van Gogh displayed a moody, restless nature in his early life.
At age twenty-seven Van Gogh had became a salesman in an art gallery, a French tutor, a theological student, and a preacher. It was also in this age that his artistic talent was discovered. In 1886 Van Gogh went to Paris to live with his loving brother, Theo, and became familiar with art movements at the time, which had influenced him on impressionism. In 1888 Van Gogh left Paris for southern France where he painted scenes of fields, trees, peasants, and overall life in the region.
There he developed his personal style of painting of being more colorful, less traditional, with lighter tonalities and distinctive brushwork. Van Gogh also began to use swirling brush strokes and intense yellows, greens, and blues. Shortly after his move, Paul Gauguin, a fellow painter joined him. Their friendships deteriorated after two months of violent quarrels. On a fight on Christmas Eve, Van Gogh threatened Gauguin with a razor, and later that night he cut off part of his own left ear.