Vincent Willem van Gogh was
born in Groot-Zundert, a village in the southern Netherlands.Van Gogh was the son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh, who was a minister of the Durch Reformed Church.Van Gogh was the son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh,who was a minister of the Durch Reformed Church.
Van Gogh spent his early
adult life working for a firm of art dealers. After a brief spell as a teacher, he became a missionary worker in a very poor mining region. He did not embark upon a career as an artist until 1880.
He produced more than 2,000
works, including around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches, during the last ten years of his life. Most of his best-known works were produced in the final two years of his life, during which time he cut off part of his left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin.
Nevertheless, Van Gogh persevered with
his work. He improved the lighting of his atelier (studio) by installing variable shutters, and experimented with a variety of drawing materials. For more than a year he worked hard on single figures—highly elaborated studies in "black and white," which at the time gained him only criticism. Nowadays they are appreciated as his first masterpieces.
In spring 1883, he embarked
on multi-figure compositions, based on the drawings. He had some of them photographed, but when his brother commented that they lacked liveliness and freshness, Vincent destroyed them and turned to oil painting.
Still Life with Absinthe.(1887) Medical
theories have even been proposed to explain Van Gogh's use of the colour yellow. One theory holds that Van Gogh's colour vision might have been affected by his love of absinthe, a liquor that contains a neurotoxin called thujonet. High doses of thujone can cause xanthopsia: seeing objects in yellow. However,a 1991 study indicated that an absinthe drinker would become unconscious from the alcohol content long before consuming enough thujone to develop yellow vision.