1853-1890, Post-Impressionist painter, b. the Netherlands.
Van Gogh's works are perhaps better known generally than those of any other painter. His brief, turbulent, and tragic life is thought to epitomize the mad genius legend.
During his lifetime, Van Gogh's work was represented in two very small exhibitions and two larger ones. Only one of Van Gogh's paintings was sold while he lived. The great majority of the works by which he is remembered were produced in 29 months of frenzied activity and intermittent bouts with epileptoid seizures and profound despair that finally ended in suicide. In his grim struggle Vincent had one constant ally and support, his younger brother , to whom he wrote revealing and extraordinarily beautiful letters detailing his conflicts and aspirations.
As a youth Van Gogh worked for a picture dealer, antagonizing customers until he was dismissed. Compulsively humanitarian, he tried to preach to oppressed mining families and was jeered at. His difficult, contradictory personality was rejected by the women he fell in love with, and his few friendships usually ended in bitter arguments.