Vincent van Gogh Biography: The Story of an Artist

vincent van gogh

Most people have heard the name Vincent van Gogh at least once or twice in their lifetime. It is hard to steer clear of his artistic influence. His work has only grown in reach and hype since his passing many years ago. Tourists gather from near and far to witness his famous pieces and read his story. He led quite the life and it has captivated many of us ever since. You’ll get a taste of his art and legacy in this Vincent van Gogh biography!

About Vincent van Gogh

van gogh paintings

Who Is He?

Vincent was a multifaceted and talented artist of the nineteenth century. He is mainly considered a post-impressionist. He made a ton of art during his short life. Vincent wasn’t regarded highly as an esteemed artist until after his death, unfortunately. He was very emotionally motivated and struggled with his mental health. He spent a lot of time in asylums and was often unstable. In the end, he succumbed to the madness, but his print on the art world will last forever.

Why Is Vincent van Gogh Famous?

He is famous for many reasons. One, for his creativity and well-executed art pieces. Two, for propelling post-impressionist art. And finally, he cut his own ear off. He lived both an exciting and tragic life, which contributes to the overwhelming interest in his art and character. His unique story still impacts many of us today and is unlike any other. Art history in some ways means Van Gogh history.

When Was He Born?

He was born in 1853, in a very turbulent decade in Europe.

Where Was van Gogh From?

He was from the Netherlands. Specifically, Groot-Zundert. He also found temporary homes in Belgium, Paris, and a number of, what was considered at the time to be insane asylums.

How Did van Gogh Die?

Many believe that he died by suicide using a gun, however, we will never know for sure. This event was tragic. Leading up to it, he struggled very much with his mental health. This was beyond his own control and unfortunately resulted in a heartbreaking end.

What about His Family?

His family was very religious in their way of thinking and raising children. His father was a pastor. His parents helped fund his education and support him financially. He also had three sisters and two brothers.

What about His Love Life?

Van Gogh was not a master of romance. He had a few unsuccessful relationships.

Did He Always Want to Be an Artist?

Funny enough, the answer is no. He did not always know that art was his calling. He first believed that he was meant to preach the word of God. This was primarily due to his hyper-religious upbringing. Before art, he also worked a variety of random odd jobs. Like a store clerk for example, among others. One of his art jobs consisted of working at The Hague Gallery. This dream was short-lived and when he stumbled upon art, he never looked back. He went on to develop his own signature Van Gogh art style.

What Motivated His Art?

Van Gogh wanted to spread joy and create beauty through his work. He also studied to become an artist. He was interested in drawing techniques like shading and figures. In his early work, he took inspiration from peasant life and the middle class. He also enjoyed recreating scenes and atmospheres found in nature.

How Many Paintings Did van Gogh Paint?

He painted a shocking 2,000 plus. This was only over the course of around 20 years too. Holy Moly!

What Was Vincent van Gogh’s First Painting?

We are glad you asked! Here it is. We cannot know for certain, but the first masterpiece is believed to be “Potato eaters.” This depicts a family of peasants at dinner eating. It is dark and humble in its construction.

Where Can You See His Work?

His pieces are displayed proudly all over the world. The most famous museums are the Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum.

Van Gogh Characteristics:

how did van gogh die
  • creative
  • talented
  • bold
  • mad
  • insecure
  • doubtful
  • troubled
  • manic
  • driven
  • passionate
  • compelled
  • tragic
  • interesting
  • intelligent
  • devoted
  • erratic behavior

Vincent van Gogh Artworks

As mentioned in our short Vincent van Gogh biography above, the artist created a lot in his lifetime. His work was heavily impacted by both the life he led and the struggles he faced. You can better understand the artist through the vessel of his creations. Here are some of the most interesting paintings, drawings, and written works by the man himself. These pieces keep his legacy alive in our memory.

Starry Night

van gogh drawings

This is one of Vincent van Gogh’s famous paintings and an awesome reason to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Painting “Starry Night” creates a gorgeous night-time atmosphere that spirals more every second you take in its essence. This painting is a lot smaller than you would expect, but it makes a great impression.

Almond Blossoms

vincent van gogh biography

Another one of many Van Gogh paintings. This absolute stunner was made around 1890. He pulled a ton of inspiration from nature and what it represents. The whole image radiates hope and new beginnings. The flowers are blooming effortlessly over the sky blue canvas. As you stare into this painting, you cannot help but feel at ease. It is calming and joyous.

Van Gogh Drawings

The artist completed over 1,000 unreal drawings in his time. That is a lot of sketches and hard work on paper. This actively was mostly leisure time the artist used to explore his craft casually. Here are a few favorites!


vincent van gogh artworks

This is a simple drawing of a common household object. It was made in 1890. However, there is more than what meets the eye. Here, the devil is in the details. The detailed lines, shading, and gentle curves depicted is what makes it so memorable. Everything from the legs to the cushion. Minimalism goes a long way!

Portrait of Patience Escalier

van gogh art style

He drew this renowned portrait in 1888. This stunning black and white drawing can also be seen in a painted, vivid version. It is detailed and easy to connect with. The subject’s eyes are soft, his nose is gently curved and lips are relaxed. He used technique to deepen the ridges of his cheekbones beautifully. His hat is naturally resting.

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