Vincent van Gogh

Dutch (1853 - 1890)
Vincent van Gogh Olive Trees 1889


Born 1853
Died 1890
Nationality Dutch
Birth place Zundert
Death place Auvers-sur-Oise

Van Gogh's brilliant, emotionally charged paintings are the most well known of all Post-Impressionist works. Born in Holland, the son of a pastor, he tried picture dealing, teaching and book selling, before training for the ministry. After dismissal from a mission in Belgium he concentrated on painting. His arrival in Paris in 1886 and his contact with the Impressionist painters made a dramatic impact on his work. Van Gogh's concern with light and colour led him to the south of France, where his paintings began to reflect his increasingly disturbed state of mind. He died after shooting himself in July 1890.

Glossary terms

  • A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.

  • A broad-ranging term covering the variety of painting styles that emerged in the wake of Impressionism in Europe, particularly in France. The most prominent artists to arise from the group are Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.


Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910
  • Ended Sun 14 Oct 2012
Inspiring Impressionism | Daubigny | Monet | Van Gogh
  • Ended Sun 2 Oct 2016