Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853–29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist whose paintings had a far reaching influence on 20th century art. Little appreciated during his lifetime, his reputation increased in the years after his death. Today he is regarded as one of history's greatest artists and an important contributor to the foundations of modern art.
Van Gogh did not begin his career as an artist until he was around 27. He suffered from anxiety and was unsettled for most of his life. He spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers in "The Hague", London and Paris, after which he taught in England. An early vocational aspiration was to become a pastor and preach the gospel, and he spent time working as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium.
n 1879, he began to sketch people from the local community and in 1885 he painted his first major work The Potato Eater. His palette at this time consisted mainly of sombre earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguishes his later work. In March 1886, Van Gogh moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. In Paris his work developed rapidly in depth and grew brighter in color. He developed a uniquely recognizable style; which became fully realized during his stay in in 1888.
During his last ten years, he produced more than 2,000 pieces, including around 900 paintings as well as 1,100 drawings and sketches. Most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years, amid recurrent bouts of mental illness.A common misconception is that Van Gogh’s paintings were a product of his poor mental health. His late work indicates an artist completely in control, "longing for concision and grace", and who was both preoccupied with precision and deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence brought about by his sickness.
He died at the age of 37, at the height of his ability, from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Although little known during his lifetime, his work was a strong influence on the modernist artists that followed him, and today many of his pieces—including his numerous self portraits, landscapes, portraits and sunflowers - are among the world's most recognizable and expensive works of art.Source: Wikipedia