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Happy Birthday Vincent van Gogh!

Happy Birthday Vincent van Gogh!

Here’s to van Gogh, the brilliant artist on the anniversary of his birth.

On this day in 1853, artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was born to an upper-middle-class family in Zundert, Netherlands.  Van Gogh would go on to become one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.  In his short lifetime, van Gogh created about 2,100 works of art including 860 oil paintings.  Characterized by bold colors and dramatic, expressive brush strokes, his paintings helped form the foundations of modern art.  Unfortunately, van Gogh was never commercially successful during his lifetime, and he committed suicide at age 37 after years of mental illness and poverty.  Today, van Gogh stands in the mind of many as a misunderstood genius whose brilliance and creativity merged into madness.

In honor of van Gogh’s birthday, let’s learn more with some fascinating facts about his life.

  1. Van Gogh was 27 when he painted his first piece.
  2. When he first began painting, van Gogh depicted peasants at work and focused on flowers, landscapes, and self-portraits because he was too poor to pay models.
  3. Van Gogh suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, a chronic condition that gave him recurrent seizures.
  4. During a seizure, van Gogh attempted to attack his friend, Paul Gauguin, with a razor. During the altercation, he ended up cutting off a piece of his ear, but not his whole ear as it often believed.
  5. Van Gogh painted his most famous painting, The Starry Night, when he was staying at an asylum in France.
  6. Van Gogh was largely self-taught, and only received formal artistic training for about four months, just a few years before his death.
  7. Van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself in his chest. He died from his injuries two days later.  His brother, who was with him, said that the artist’s last words were “the sadness will last forever.”
  8. Sadly, van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. The Red Vineyard sold for 400 francs in Belgium just seven months before his death.
  9. Van Gogh achieved wild commercial success after his death. His most expensive painting, Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold for $148.6 million in 1990.
  10. Much of van Gogh’s posthumous success can be attributed to his sister-in-law Johanna as she committed herself to creating his legacy after his death.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we remember van Gogh on his birthday. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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