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The Life of Dutch Painter Van Gogh



in 1853, Vincent Willem van Gogh born in a village of the south in the Netherlands as an eldest of five siblings.

Vincent is named after his grandfather who was a renowned pastor.

Due to his strange personality, Gogh was shunned by his family, but only he was very close with his brother Theodorus.

After Gogh’s father died, he became estranged from his family. But he kept in touch with Theodorus. So Theodorus was at Gogh’s bedside when he passed away.



Life of van Gogh


Van Gogh had an unusual personality from his childhood.

Age 7: Enters elementary school (but soon becomes truant)
Age 8: Study at home with a tutor
Age 11: Enters boarding school
Age 13: Entered National High School, and learned painting
Age 15: Dropped out

His parents gave him a good education, but it seems that Van Gogh, who is a hot temper person, did not fit in at school.




After dropping out at the age of 15, Van Gogh started working.

Age 16: Joined his uncle’s art dealership
Age 20: Got into a big fight with his uncle and was relegated to the London branch
Age 21: First love in London → heartbreak → converted to Christianity
Age 22: Promoted to Paris branch → Firing

As a young man, Van Gogh saw many paintings through his work as an art dealer and became interested in the painting.




After fired, Van Gogh loses sight of his life and immerses himself in religion.

Age 23:
・Became a teacher in England but retired after 2 months
・Help the pastor and aim to become a clergyman
・Returned to Holland and got a job at a bookstoreAge 24:
・Quit the the bookstore and started studying for university entrance exams
・Frustrated in his exam study, he suffered from mental illnessAge 25:
・Enter in Belgian evangelist training school
・Obtained a provisional evangelist licenseAge 26:
・Revoked the provisional license of an evangelist

No one understood Van Gogh’s teachings as an evangelist, and he was revoked of his provisional license due to his erratic and self-punishing behavior.




Van Gogh stopped working and began painting while moving from place to place in France, Holland, and Belgium.

Age 27:
・Roam around France
・Roam around Belgium
・Enter at the Brussels Royal Academy of Fine ArtsAge 28:
・Return to the Netherlands
・Propose marriage to his cousin but was refusedAge 29:
・Hospitalized due to infection
・Get a girlfriend.Age 30:
・Breaks up and roam around the NetherlandsAge 31:
・Sell paintings to his brother
・Get a girlfriend but breaks upAge 32:
・His father had a seizure and died suddenly
・Studying drawing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium
・Interested in Japanese ukiyo-e

Van Gogh sold his paintings through his uncle’s trading company, but it was unsuccessful. Nevertheless Van Gogh, who did not work, lived on the money from her brother Theodorus.


Painter van gogh

After his father’s death, Van Gogh was painting in France.

Age 33:
・Living at Theodorus’ house in Paris
・Propose marriage to the owner of the cafe but was refusedAge 34:
・Hold an exhibition with painter friendsAge 35:
・Move to Southern France and live with Gauguin
・Cut off his own earlobe and give it to a prostitute. She called the police and he was hospitalized.
・Even after leaving the hospital, he is mentally unstable and is hospitalized again.Age 36:
・Transferred to a mental hospital
・Paintings such as “Sunflowers” are evaluated
・”Red Vineyards” sold at an exhibition (the only work sold during his lifetime)Age 37:
・Leave the mental hospital in May.
・29th July, Van Gogh passed away while being watched over by his younger brother Theodorus.

From around the age of 36, his works exhibited at his exhibitions have been recognized and have evaluated high praise from many painters such as Gauguin and Monet.



Van Gogh’s cause of death




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Van Gogh allegedly committed suicide with a pistol. However, there was something unnatural about suicide. There is also a theory that gun went off by accidentally by boys in the neighborhood. However, there are no eyewitnesses and the truth is unknown.


When Theodorus arrived at the hospital, Van Gogh was conscious. One of the last words Theodorus exchanged with Van Gogh was, “I wish I could die like this.” Van Gogh died in the early hours of the next day.

After Van Gogh’s death, Theodorus fell ill and passed away as though he was following Van Gogh.

After that, it was Theodorus’ wife who spread Van Gogh’s work to the world.



Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam opened in 1973, 83 years after Van Gogh’s death, and attracted a record 2.1 million visitors to the museum in 2016.

More than 200 paintings, including Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait and Sunflowers, and a letter to his brother are also on display.

Works by Gauguin of the same period and Japanese ukiyo-e prints that Van Gogh liked are also on display.


Van Gogh Museum (Sep 2022 survey)
Open: 9am-18pm
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
URL: Vangoghmuseum.nl



Museum Tour in Amsterdam