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Art History Lessons with Lucy J: Van Gogh

1)     Van Gogh came from a religious family and originally wanted to become a pastor like his father.

2)     The reason that so many of Van Gogh’s paintings are of himself, landscapes and flowers is because he was too poor to pay for models to sit for him.

3)     He was a deeply unhappy man and suffered from mental illness which is still undetected, hallucinations and epilepsy.

4)     His brother Theo supported Van Gogh financially and often bought him his paints as they were expensive. They had a very close relationship and kept in close correspondence through letters which we still have 800 of today.

5)     Sadly, Van Gogh never found love.

6)     The first time Van Gogh went to art school was in 1885 four years before his death, by which time he had painted most of his 900 paintings.

7)     During an epileptic seizure, he cut off his own ear lobe with a razor blade as he attempted to attack Paul Gaugin.

8)     He only became famous after his death and would never have guessed the impact of his work on the art world.

9)     Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime.

10)   Van Gogh died at the age of 37 having shot himself in a field in Auvers, France.


Tags: art, art history, artists, facts, general knowledge, van gogh

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