Vincent Van Gogh is remembered as one of the world’s greatest artists, even though his time on this planet would prove to be relatively short. At the age of 37, he took a gun into a French wheat field and attempted to kill himself. He would survive for another 2 days before finally passing away from the injuries. Part of the reason behind this choice was the number of mental and physical issues that tormented Van Gogh. There’s also the fact that his work was hardly recognized as great during his time. All of that, however, would soon change.
1. A Sister-In-Law’s Love
Vincent had a brother named Theo, who tragically died about 6 months after Vincent decided to take his own life. Theo’s wife made it her mission to collect the artwork and letters that Vincent had created over the years and let the general public know about the man who was her brother-in-law. Her goal was to get Van Gogh the recognition he deserved. You have to admit that her efforts wound up to be wildly successful.
2. It Wasn’t the Whole Ear
Many kids grow up hearing the tale of how Van Gogh had a crazy moment and cut off his ear. This isn’t entirely true. He did cut off part of his ear, but it was only a small part of his earlobe. When people think that you’re a little bit crazy in the head, however, it doesn’t take much for stories to have an exaggerated tone to them. Since Van Gogh spent a bit of time in the local asylum, it’s easy to see how the idea of the whole ear coming off could be taken seriously.
3. The Ultimate Starving Artist
Van Gogh only sold 1 painting over the course of his entire life. In just 10 years, he created over 900 different paintings. That’s an average of about two paintings a week! Part of the reason for this was because he had a lot of spare time on his hands. One of his most famous paintings, The Starry Night, was created while he was spending some time in a French asylum because of his epilepsy and mental health issues.
4. A Strange Religious Upbringing
Vincent initially wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, which would mean becoming a preacher for the church. This desire to help others even translated into Van Gogh becoming a missionary for some time. Who talked Vincent out of becoming a full-time missionary? Ironically enough, his religious parents. The confusion that he must have experienced from the pressures of his family couldn’t have helped his mental health any.
5. A Poor Man From a Poor Family
Why did Van Gogh paint the subjects that he did? Because he didn’t have any money to pay for models. His brother Theo actually supported him throughout much of his life from a financial sense. It’s also why Van Gogh wound up painting 37 different self-portraits and ultimately created 1,100 different sketches in the way he did as well.
Vincent Van Gogh may have led a bit of a troubled life, but his body of work stands for itself. Many in the world today know of his paintings and that is a testament to his creativity, talent, and skill.