Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who practiced Post-Impressionism. He became one of the most popular and influential people in Western art. In a span of a decade, he was able to create over 2,000 pieces including 860 oil paintings. But did you know the genius behind The Starry Night started his career as an artist later than we would have assumed?
Vincent Van Gogh began painting in 1880. By 1883, he started experimenting with oil paint. He was in his late twenties and going to his early thirties at the time. Despite his late start, he quickly improved his skills by practicing constantly.
How Old was Vincent Van Gogh When He Started Painting?
When Van Gogh chose to pursue a full-time profession as an artist in 1880, he was 27 years old. He began by enrolling at an art school in the ancient Belgian city of Brussels. He learned basic art theory and had the opportunity to work with tools and canvas for the first time.
His career as an artist was cut short when he committed suicide in 1890. This was just shy of his 37th birthday. His huge record of published letters and journal diaries, which gave the public an insight into the psyche of a great but tortured artist, was the fundamental cause for his posthumous reputation. (Source: Paintona)
What was Vincent Van Gogh’s Life Like Before He Started Painting?
Before he became an artist, Van Gogh had an unusual job. His parents had high aspirations for him being that he was the oldest son of a protestant preacher in the Netherlands. Most people assumed he was French, but this is not true. As a result of what he learned as a pastor’s son, he began his ministry as a preacher and missionary in the church.
He visited several churches and was exposed to many early Christian art artifacts at this time. This was one of the factors that prompted him to begin painting for the first time. Following his missionary career, he worked as an art dealer and also sold books for a short time. (Source: Paintona)
What Motivated Vincent Van Gogh to Begin Painting?
Van Gogh was continuously exposed to art throughout his lifetime. But his interest in art was piqued while he worked as an art dealer. He eventually left the job because he preferred to produce his own art rather than sell someone else’s.
Because of this, he decided to enroll in an art school in Brussels, Belgium. There he mastered the fundamentals of painting theory. After graduating, he returned home to his father’s estate in the countryside. He refined his skill at painting landscapes and portraying the human experience via art when he was there. (Source: Paintona)
How Long Did Van Gogh Spend Painting?
Due to his rapidly worsening mental state, Van Gogh’s artistic career just lasted for ten years. He produced almost 2,100 works of art in that short amount of time, including over 850 oil paintings and over 1,300 watercolors and sketches. (Source: Paintona)