Vincent van Gogh
Date of Birth: 30/3/1853
Van Gogh is now one of the most well-known post-Impressionist painters, although he was not widely appreciated in his lifetime. He was born in Zundert in the southern Netherlands, the son of a pastor. In 1869, he took his first job, working in the Hague branch of an international art dealing firm. After briefly became a teacher in England and a preacher in a mining community in southern Belgium, Van Gogh decided to become an artist at the age of 27. He taught himself to draw and paint and received financial support from his younger brother, Theo. He moved to Paris with Theo and met many artists including Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro and Gauguin and his style changed significantly under the influence of Impressionism. In 1888, Van Gogh moved to Provence in southern France, where he painted his famous series "Sunflowers." He invited Gauguin to join him but they soon began to quarrel and one night, Van Gogh threatened Gauguin with a razor. Deeply remorseful he then cut off part of his own ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals and went through periods of depression and incredibly concentrated artistic activity, his work reflecting the intense colours and strong light of the countryside around him.