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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Colour and technique set Vincent Van Gogh aside from what had been seen before, this section examines his paintings one by one, as well as considering his overall oeuvre.

Vincent van Gogh was a famous Dutch artist who produced some impressive paintings which were respected for their passion, meaning and colour. The simple, expressive artworks would become bolder and brighter as his career developed, as the artist took time to feel comfortable in his artistic approach. Early artworks from Van Gogh marked his desire to learn and practice, constantly seeking direction and inspiration. His tough surroundings were reflected in his work which was dark and depressing, often depicting lives of those struggling in society. As an unsettled Vincent re-located across Europe, his new surroundings would alter his style, bringing in new colour schemes and a greater productivity.

As his mental illness became more and more serious the artist would use his profession as self-treatment, focusing his mind purely on the bright French landscape which has inspired so many artists. Vincent's life culminated with some extraordinary paintings just before his sad passing. Whilst not appreciated during his own lifetime, Van Gogh paintings have become respected right across the world by academics and mainstream art fans alike. One significant influence on his work was Japanese art, which he had studied in depth and whose traits can clearly be seen in much of his work. Van Gogh was a post-impressionist artist who achieved a style that used thick layers of paint and concentrated on brightness rather than precise depictions of reality. Van Gogh spent much of his life in his native Netherlands struggling through life before art took him into a new period in his life in which he devoted himself entirely to this new passion which helped to distract him from his other problems.

Vincent was sadly an individual who an problems with depression throughout his life and many believe that the mental imbalance which he had was also the inspiration for his unusual painting style that remains highly appreciated today just as much as at any time since his career finished around end of the 19th century. This website features around 100 of his finest oil paintings. Vincent van Gogh had two clear periods in his artistic development, his earliest being when he had a relatively dark and negative style which was typified by his Potato Eaters classic and concentrated on the difficult lives of the unfortunate within the Netherlands.

It was unfortunately unsuccessful alongside most of his paintings at this time and even his brother Theo was unhappy with Vincent's work to the point of encouraging him to take new directions with his work. The latter stage in the artist's career was inspired by his move to France where the colour of the natural landscape plus the influence of other artists on his work helped Vincent van Gogh move into a far more expressive and positive style. Van Gogh spent ten years as an artist being exceptionally productive as he found a new passion within his art after moving to France and also realised that his work could distract him from his serious mental issues that had blighted his life and always left himself unhappy and unsettled. Painting was to become an obsession and an addiction, even the same way as alcohol can cover up other problems but always with consequences.

This artist like almost no-other drew attention to the beauty of the French landscape and having lived in dark and depressing regions of the Netherlands for many years, what he came across in France was all the more exciting to him. Only the likes of native born Henri Matisse can truly match Van Gogh for bold use of colour and imaginative ways of capturing the scenes across this charming country. The life and career of this great painter are covered in full throughout this website which also features and extensive gallery of his most famous paintings too. You will see that this artist experienced one of the most intense and unstable lives of all time, with a good study into the meanings behind Van Gogh's work.