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Vincent Van Gogh

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On March 30, 1853, Vincent Van Gogh was born in Zundert, which is located south of the Netherlands. During his teenage years, Vincent got a job at The Hague and continued to work there "until he was dismissed from the London office in 1873 (Wikipedia)." In 1880 Vincent followed his brother and became a full-time painter. He took some painting lessons from Anton Mauve in The Hague. Vincent and Anton later broke up their work over "a divergence of artistic views, influences of The Hague School of painting would remain in Vincent's work, notably in the way he played with light and in the looseness of his brush strokes. However his use of color, favoring dark tones, set him apart from his teacher (Wikipedia)". "In 1881, he moved in with his parents at their house in Etten. He declared his love to his widowed cousin Kee Vos, who rejected him. Later he would move in with the prostitute Sien Hoornik and her children and considered marrying her; his father was strictly against this relationship and even his brother Theo advised against it. They later separated. Vincent painted his first watercolor painting in 1882. His uncle Cornelis commissioned him to make a series of 12 views of The Hague (Wikipedia)."

Van Gogh moved around from Drenth, Nuenen, North Brabant, and back to the Netherlands to move back in with his parent, where he "focused on painting peasants and rural scenes (Wikipedia)." In 1885 Van Gogh painted The Potato Eaters, which now sits in The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. "In the winter of 1885 - 1886, Van Gogh attended the art academy of Antwerp (Wikipedia)." This proved a disappointment, as Professor Eugиne Siberdt dismissed him after a few months. "Van Gogh did, however, become familiar with Japanese art during this period, which he started to collect eagerly. He admired its bright colors, use of canvas space and the role lines played in the picture. These impressions would influence him strongly. Van Gogh made some paintings in Japanese style. Also some of the portraits he painted are set against a background which shows Japanese art (Wikipedia)."

In 1886, Vincent moved in with his brother Theo in Paris. It was there where he "discovered impressionism and liked its use of light and color, more than its lack of social engagement.... He especially loved the technique known as pointillism, which made its mark on Van Gogh's own style. Van Gogh also used complementary colors, especially blue and orange, in close proximity in order to enhance the brilliance of each. A lovely quote from one of his letters: "I want to use colors that complement each other, that cause each other to shine brilliantly, that complete each other like a man and a woman (Wikipedia)."

Life with his brother was too much for Vincent to handle and therefore he left Paris and moved to Arles. "He was impressed with the local landscape and hoped to found an art colony. He decorated a "yellow house" and created a celebrated series of yellow sunflower paintings for this purpose. Only Paul Gauguin, whose simplified color schemes and forms, followed his invitation. The admiration was mutual, and Gauguin painted Van Gogh painting sunflowers. However their encounter



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