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Vincent van Gogh (1853-189)
A leading Post-Impressionist and forerunner of Expressionism. Vincent’s first job was for a firm of art dealers, but he was sacked after a failed affair affected his ability to work. After a brief stint as a teacher, he became a lay preacher in a Belgian mining district. Here again he was fired when the Church became concerned at his over-zealous attempts to help the poor. Vincent had at least found his true vocation: illustration the plight of the local peasantry.
Previously influenced by Millet, in 1886 Van Gogh went to Paris where his style changed dramatically.
Under he combined impact of Impressionism and Japanese prints, his palette lightened and he began to employ bold simplifications of form. Like Gauguin, he also used colours symbolically, rather than naturalistically. With financial help from his brother, Theo, Vincent moved to the south of France. Gauguin joined him but the pair soon clashed hastening Van Gogh’s mental collapse. Due to some mental problems Van Gogh spent a year in a mental hospital in Saint-Rémy.
Despite his illness he continued working at a frenzied pace until his suicide in July 1890. Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, but his work gas since become he most popular and sought-after of and modern artist.
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