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The Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Vincent Willem Van Gogh (1853
- 1890), created over 2100 pieces in his life, spanning 860 oil paintings and 1300 sketches, prints, water colours and drawings. 200 paintings were done in a two year stretch (1886-1888) during time spent in Paris (an average of one painting every several days). Although very famous today, during his life, Van Gogh’s art was not well known. While Van Gogh is known best for a colorful and vibrant style, his early pieces tended towards more sombre tones.

Post Impressionism

Though Van Gogh would never have heard or used the term, his art can be categorized under post Impressionism, and while it may not seem immediately obvious through the eyes of someone born in the 20th and 21st century, post Impressionist’s were pioneers and marked a turning point in the way that art was created, rather than attempting to capture a specific form, their style in some ways was far more personally expressive and explorative, even dream like (consider ’The Starry Night’ by Van Gogh).

Van Gogh’s Famous Slicing of his Left Ear and Mental Health

On the 23rd of December 1888, in an apparent psychotic episode, Van Gogh sliced his left ear and sent it to a brothel, Van Gogh claimed to have no recollection of the event. Earlier in his life, his father had made inquiries regarding having him committed, now Van Gogh would admit himself to various institutions. One such institution was a hospital at Saint Paul-de-Mausole, during which he would paint his most famous piece, The Starry Night, which depicts a the view from his hospital window with the addition of an idealized village.

Van Gogh’s Death

On the 27th of July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself and died 29 hours later from an untreated infection, according to his Brother Theo, Van Gogh’s last words were "The sadness will last forever". 

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