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What do you know about Vincent Van Gogh? Most people answer this question with “Isn’t he the guy who cut off his own ear”. Yes, he did but he was so much more than that. Continue reading to dive into the almost magical  world of VIncent Van Gogh.

What did he paint?

  • Landscapes

  • Still Lifes

  • Portraits

  • Self Portraits 

Painting Style

  • Use of vivid colors 

  • Thick application of paint 

  • Real-life subject matter 

  • Emphasized geometric forms, distorted form for expressive effect, and use of unnatural or arbitrary color

  • Use of small brushstrokes to reflect light and depict movement

In his lifetime Van Gogh created 900 paintings and made 1,100 drawings and sketches, but only sold one painting during his career.

Vincent Van Gogh was born in Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853. He was one of 6 children. His father was a minister and his mother came from a wealthy family of famous art dealers.

First letter written to Theo by Vincent

He tried many professions: art dealer, teacher, minister, and even working in a bookstore until he became a painter at the age of 27. 

September 1878 marked the beginning of a lifelong correspondence between Vincent and his younger brother Theo, who became Vincent’s financial backer and primary source of income as he only ever sold one painting in his lifetime.

This is an early drawing done by Vincent of the view from the Ramsgate Boarding School where he worked in 1876.  

He included drawings in his letters with his brother who encouraged him to explore art as a career. 

This is one of Vincent’s first paintings. 

Anton Mauve, Donkey Standing on the Beach at Scheveningen, 1876

Women on the Peat Moor, 1883

The Harvest, 1888

Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 1888

Vincent Van Gogh was friends with famous painter Paul Gauguin. The pair worked together but they often fought about different views on art. 

The sunflower painting was done by Van Gogh for Gauguin’s room that he stayed in at when he visited.

Almond Blossom, 1890

Café Terrace at Night, 1888

Bedroom in Arles, 1888

Irises, 1889

The Sunflower, 1888

  • Bright, beautiful colors!

  • Very thick paint. Sometimes he painted so fast he used paint right out of the tube.

This sold in 1987 for $39 million dollars!

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888

Most famous painting –  Starry Night, 1889

Check out these Titles!

Vincent Van Gogh by Jim Whiting

Vincent Van Gogh by Jennifer Landau and Kathy Campbell

Vincent Van Gogh by Linda Cernak and JT Morrow

Vincent Van Gogh by Jennifer Howse

Van Gogh’s Ear presented by PBS (This show is best for older students or teens)

Web Resources

Or check out these great museum websites: