|More myths and attempts at interpretation have ranked
around Vincent van Gogh than probably any other of his
painter colleagues. His fate is probably where the main
attraction in van Gogh lies. Self-mutilation, lunatic asylum
and eventually suicide are expressions of a deep crisis of
identity, mentally as well as artistically. This crisis expresses
itself in the dramatically increasing luminosity of his colours.
It is a mixture of madness and genius that explains the
fascination, still unbroken even after 100 years, that is
triggered by the name van Gogh. Born on March 30th, 1853
in Zundert near Breda as the son of a clergyman, Vincent
van Gogh studied theology in Amsterdam and later looked
after workers in the coal- and bronze industries in the
Walloon mining area as a minister and teacher. In 1883 he
began to paint the farmers and labourers of his home district
in earthy, heavy colours. In 1886 he moved to Paris where he
came upon the cheerful and bright paintings of the
Impressionists. After moving south to Arles in 1888 he
created his famous landscape paintings, still lifes and
portraits, that he painted in shining colours to give the
maximum form of expression.
Despite increasing periods of mental exhaustion and delusions his creative output was not restricted. After his last session with the doctor who was looking after him in Avers, Vincent van Gogh, the artist who overcame Impressionism and the one who paved the way for succeeding art directions committed suicide on July 29th 1890.