Vincent ||Willem||van Gogh|
1853 - 1890
In 1888 van Gogh left Paris for southern France, where, under the burning sun of Provence, he painted scenes of the fields, cypress trees, peasants, and rustic life characteristic of the region. During this period, living at Arles, he began to use the swirling brush strokes and intense yellows, greens, and blues associated with such typical works as Bedroom at Arles and Starry Night. For van Gogh all visible phenomena, whether he painted or drew them, seemed to be endowed with a physical and spiritual vitality.
In his enthusiasm he induced the painter Paul Gauguin to join him. After less than two months they began to have quarrel in which van Gogh wildly threatened Gauguin with a razor; the same night, in deep remorse, van Gogh cut off part of his own ear. For a time he was in a hospital at Arles. He then spent a year in the nearby asylum of Saint-Rémy, working between repeated spells of madness. Under the care of a sympathetic doctor, van Gogh spent three months at Auvers. Just after completing Crows in the Wheatfields, he shot himself on July 27, 1890, and died two days later.
In 1886 van Gogh went to Paris to live with his brother Théo van Gogh, an art dealer, and became familiar with the new art movements developing at the time. Influenced by the work of the impressionists and by the work of such Japanese printmakers as Hiroshige and Hokusai, van Gogh began to experiment with current techniques. Subsequently, he adopted the brilliant hues found in the paintings of the French artists Camille Pissarro and Georges Seurat.
The more than 700 letters that van Gogh wrote to his brother Théo constitute a remarkably illuminating record of the life of an artist and a thorough documentation of his unusually fertile output—about 750 paintings and 1600 drawings.
Sources: Encarta 1999 Encyclopedia.
Those tattooed races, Negroes, Indians, all of them, all, all are disappearing or degenerating. And the horrible white man with his bottle of alcohol, his money and his syphilis. -- when shall we see the end of him?
I saw a brothel here last sunday -- not counting the other days -- a large room, the walls covered with blued whitewash -- like a village school.
Source: Vincent by himself; Edited by Bruce Bernard; Chartwell Books, Inc.