The people back in the 19th century really didnt accept Van Gaoghs truthful and emotionally morbid way of expressing the way of art is to himself. It finally was seen as art through the peoples eyes. This set a stage of art that is now known as Expressionism. It is best characterized by the use of symbols and a style that expresses the artists inner feelings about his subject. His style of painting is exemplified by a projection of the painters inner experience onto the canvas he paints on. Van Goghs paintings are done with his feelings that goes on in his life.
In Vincents own words he said, ” What lives in art and is eternally living, is first of all the painter, and then the painting. ” (Mark Hardens Artchive) A lot of people think that Van Goghs life had a lot of failure and thats why his paintings are about his feelings, but his experiences demonstrate biological and psychological abnormality, causing behaviors that alienated those around him. He started to become isolated from the society, by working on his paintings all the time. He began to use all his energy and all the outburst into his paintings.
This caused him to be institutionalized, due to working on his paintings all the time and nothing else. It became so serious that he committed suicide by shooting himself at the age of 37. (Shearer West) During his short life, he only sold one of his art works. He sold it four months before his death and sold it for 400 francs, It was titled “The Red Vineyard,” even though he produced so many masterpieces that will go in history. Most art lovers see Van Gogh as a troubled person, but a successful artist.
This is far from the actual truth of his turbulent life, which was fraught with failure in every occupational pursuit he attempted, including painting and was marked by intermittent episodes of depression, violence, and out going behaviors. ( Encyclopedia of Arts Mark Hardens Artchive) They have nearly completed t he understanding the feelings, experiences, and views Van Gogh had, by the notes that were preserved that he sent to his friends and family, especially the all the ones sent to his brother Theo. Mark Hardens Artchive)
Before Vincent became a painter, he was a Protestant minister and a art dealer. He failed at both of these and then started to study art world. His family shamed him due to the fact that he didnt follow his dads footsteps in ministerial. He took this talent and began to draw schetches and do oil paintings by the thousands, but none of his paintings became recognized until the age of 27. (Voyager) As a child Vincent was a quiet person. Elizabeth Van Gogh said, “Not only was his little sisters and brothers strangers to him, but he was a stranger to himself.
And he also walked around all dazed and clumsily. ” (Voyager) “Vincent had queer manners and seemed to be more like an old man,” said a servant of the Van Gogh family that worked for them when Vincent was a child. His mother was really disappointed in him and then eventually the entire family. Even his closes friend, his brother, Theo Van Gogh who helped him financially became disappointed. Vincent said that “Theo comforted his mother and is worthy to be comforted by his mother. ” On the other hand Vincent was rejected. Vincent later said that his childhood was “gloomy and cold and sterile. Voyager)
Observers of Van Goghs life believed that his eccentricities, compounded to create many distressing experiences that directly impacted the development of Expressionism. This was visible from his early childhood. Painting was no longer seen through pictures, it became a crucible that could hold all of the artists passions, conflicts, and unrealized dreams. (Encyclopedia. com) Vincent tried first to learn the art works to other artists. When he was 16, he started working as a art dealer at a firm of Goupil & Co. located in Belgium and then went to London.
While working in these galleries he became very smart. He actually new to much. When customers would come in and buy a painting, he would tell them why it was a piece of junk if it was one. He new the values and styles of all the paintings. He failed at being an art dealer. He didnt know the principles of a salesman. As he failed as an art dealer, he also failed in his first romantic love. He had a crush on a upper class woman and she never expressed her feelings of interest to him. He couldnt read her expression of not being interested. (Encyclopedia. com Encyclopedia of Arts)
His next two jobs were failures as a teacher and a bookstore clerk. While working at the bookstore, kids would come by and call him a “queer freak. ” He went back home and stayed with his family, who still thought he was a failure in their eyes. He then finally decided to satisfy his fathers greatest wish by becoming a minister. While doing this he found out that he had to give away his clothing and money to help the poor that were living in shacks. They wanted him to take on lower class beliefs. He started to dislike this and failed once again. (Mark Hardens Artchive Voyager)
When Vincent came home he started to like his cousin Kee, but her father would not let him see her. When Vincents father discovered this, bitterness became between the father/son relationship. After being rejected by his family one more time, he went back to painting and started a relationship with a prostitute. She was personally suffering, but Vincent still took care of her. When Vincents parents heard about her living with him they became more distinct with him. Vincents behavior became worse, he screened everyone out who tried to help him. He started to look like a bum, dressing in old, ragged, dirty cloths.
He started living isolated from the society. The only thing that kept him up and going was his drawings and paintings. (Mark Hardens Artchive) A person describes Vincent as a “funny, red-bearded man with a straw hat, smoking a pipe and painting intently, and not responding to anyones attempts to communicate with him. ” He would sit on the roadside for hours doing this. This old man saw Vincent when he was about ten years old painting landscapes. (Voyager) In many letters, it was clear that Van Gogh was aware of his depressive tendencies, and that he had experienced them most of his life.
After one of his mental crises he wrote “Well, even in that deep misery I felt my energy revive, and I said to myself: in spite of everything I shall rise again, I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing, and from that moment everything has seemed transformed in me. ” He used is high spirits as a source of energy in his paintings. (Encyclopedia of Arts) When Van Gogh was 33, he went to Paris a hung around Lautrec, Seurat, Gauguin, and other famous painters back in that time. He was influenced by these painters with there use of colors and less sentimental subject matter.
His paintings changed from the dark color and the heavy subjects in the painting to brighter colors to make it look like it wasn’t so heavy. After being friends with Gauguin for about two years, they got in to a argument, because Van Gogh started to have problems again. He ended up cutting part of his own ear off and then wrapping it in paper and giving it to a prostitute that he was friends with at one time. When his brother found out about this, he institutionalized Vincent for two weeks and this was followed by several more after this accident. (Encyclopedia of Arts)
Psychologists say that Van Gogh’s history of mental problems have been thought of being that each mental crisis was after a deep attachment he felt for a loved one. A couple of other breakdowns he’s had were when he heard that Theo was getting engaged and when Theo got married. (Encyclopedia. com) A month before he committed suicide, Vincent painted “The Undergrowth With Two Figures. ” The painting had a lonely and a depressive feeling to it. Right after he painted this he wrote a note to Theo saying “I feela failure. Thats it as far as I’m concerned I feel that this is the destiny that I accept, that will never change.
Mark Hardens Artchive) One of the last paintings Van Gogh did was “Wheat Field With Crows. ” There’s dark clouds in the background that seem hopeless and depressive. Psychologist say that Van Gogh might have had polar disorder, which means manic depression. On July 27, 1890 Vincent killed himself with a gunshot to the chest and then six months later Theo died of lung disease. (Encyclopedia of Arts) Van Gogh is considered one of the most powerful Expressionist. His paintings sell for millions of dollars today even though he only sold one during his lifetime.