July’s artist for #deadartistsociety is Vincent van Gogh. I usually check out every book that my library has on the artist I’m studying. Came home with this graphic novel today among a few other books: A Power of Seething, a DK ArtBook on Van Gogh, and I borrowed Van Gogh's Letters from a friend.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands to Theodorus van Gogh, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. He was given the name of his grandfather and of his brother stillborn exactly a year before his birth. He was the oldest of six, two brothers and three sisters.
There’s not many photographs of Vincent van Gogh (compared to the number of photos of Georgia O’Keeffe!) so I’m drawing from every single one I can I find.
Vincent’s sister Elisabeth wrote in her memoirs that he was a serious, sensitive boy who preferred solitude. He loved flowers, birds, and insects. He was a good student, but his choice of clothing, his eating habits, and solitary nature made him appear strange to others.
Vincent was schooled at home. At age 7 began attending the local village school. At age 11 he was sent to boarding school. He later wrote that his youth was "austere and cold, and sterile".
At age 15, Vincent's family was struggling financially and so he left school to find work. He got a job at his Uncle Cornelis' art dealership, Goupil & Cie., a firm of art dealers in The Hague. By this time, he was fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch.
At age 20, he was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London. There he visited art galleries and became a fan of the writings of Charles Dickens and George Eliot.
While in London, Vincent fell involve with his landlady's daughter, Eugenie Loyer. He proposed and she turned him down. She was engaged to be married to the previous tenant.
Vincent didn't take the rejection well. He threw away all his books except for the Bible and decided to devote his life to God. He was fired from his job as an art dealer. He then taught at a Methodist boys' school and also worked as a minister's assistant. He studied to become a minister himself.