Van Gogh did not begin paintinguntil his late twenties, and mostof his best-known works wereproduced during his final twoyears.He produced more than 2,000artworks, consisting of around900 paintings and 1,100drawings and sketches.Although he was little knownduring his lifetime, his work wasa strong influence on theModernist art that followed.
Today many of his pieces—including his numerous self portraits,landscapes, portraits and sunflowers—are among the worlds mostrecognizable and expensive works of art.
The Potato Eaters(Van Gogh Museum,Amsterdam; 1885). Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work:"I wanted to convey the idea that the people eating potatoes by the light of an oil lampused the same hands with which they take food from the plate to work the land, thatthey have toiled with their hands—that they have earned their food by honest means.""I think that the pictures of the peasants eating potatoes that I painted in Nuenen is thebest of all my work.“ Writing to his sister two years later in Paris, (Letter W1), van Gogh still considered"The Potato Eaters" his most successful painting.
His palette at the timeconsisted mainly of sombreearth tones and showed nosign of the vivid colorationthat distinguished his laterwork. In March 1886, he movedto Paris and discovered theFrench Impressionists.Later he moved to thesouth of France and wastaken by the strong sunlighthe found there. His work grew brighter incolor and he developedthe unique and highlyrecognizable style whichbecame fully realized The house where Van Gogh stayed induring his stay in Arles in Cuesmes in 1880; while living here he1888. decided to become an artist.
The extent to which his mental illness affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death. Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence brought about by his bouts of sickness. According to art critic Robert Hughes, Van Goghs late works show an artist at the height of his ability, completely in control and "longing for concision and grace".Paul Gauguins Armchair (1888), Van Gogh Museum
The Starry NightThe painting depicts theview outside hissanatorium roomwindow at night,although it was paintedfrom memory during theday. Since 1941 it has beenin the permanentcollection of theMuseum of ModernArt in New York City.
Vestibule of the Asylum (September 1889), Saint-Remy, Van Gogh Museum, brush and oils, black chalk, on pink laid paper
Portrait of Dr. Gachet is oneof the most revered paintingsby Dutch artist Vincent vanGogh of Dr. Paul Gachet,who took care of him in hislast months. In 1990, it fetched a recordprice of $82.5 million ($75million, plus a 10 percentbuyers commission).There are two authenticversions of the portrait, bothpainted in June 1890 inAuvers-sur-Oise, near Paris.Both show Doctor Gachetsitting at a table and leaninghis head onto his right arm,but they are easilydifferentiated.
Inspired by thenaturesurroundinghim, Van Goghbegan his workon Irises withinthe first week ofhis stay at theasylum. Irises