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Life and Work of Vincent van Gogh
1853-1881 1882-1884 1885-1888 1889-1991

Period of 1853-1881
Vincent Willem van Gogh is born the 30 of March in the Dutch town of Groot-Zundert, like first-born - after, exactly one year before, was born dead a boy of the same name of the six children of Theodorus van Gogh (1822-1885) and its woman Anna Cornelia, as a single person Carbentus (1819-1907). The father is preaching of the parish of Dutch the Reformadora Church, the mother daughter of a book bookbinder of Is It.

He is born his Theodorus brother, Theo call.

He goes to the school of the town in Zundert.

Deprived boarding school of Zevenbergen.

Boarding school of Tillburg.

It interrupts the school, returning to Groot-Zundert.

It goes to Is It to begin like apprentice in the branch of the Parisian gallery of art Goupil & Cie., founded by his Vincent uncle, where, under the direction of H. G. Tersteeg, it sells art reproductions. Lee and visits museums much.

His father is named shepherd of Helvoirt, where he is transferred with all his family.

He spends the vacations with his parents, visiting his Theo brother later in Is It. The correspondence between both begins.


JANUARY : By initiative of his uncle it is transferred to him to the branch of the Goupil gallery in Brussels.

MAY : It is destined the branch of London. Before his game it goes to Paris that impresses much to him, visits the Louvre.

JUNE : A year in Goupil works. During some strolls hece his first drawings that later throw. One falls in love with the daughter of his pattern. The rejection of this one causes a crisis to him.

NOVEMBER : His Theo brother is transferred to the branch of Goupil in Is It.


SUMMER : It spends the vacations with his parents in Helvoirt, to which, to explain his depressive state, it confesses his disappointments. In the middle of July it returns to London with his Anna sister. It lives isolated and it shows to little interest by his work, reading much, mainly religious works.

October-December : His uncle provisionally destines to him to the central house of Goupil in Paris, hoping that the atmosphere change improves to him.


MAY : Definitive transfer to Paris. It continues neglecting the work, which irritates to its companions and clients. Read the Bible every day; it visits museums and galleries, being excited by Corot and the Dutch painting of century XVII .

OCTOBER : Theodorus, its father, is transferred of Etten to Breda.

DECEMBER : It is going to spend Christmases with his parents, without they have granted vacations to him.


APRIL : One takes leave of Goupil, going to Ramsgate, near London, where it works like auxiliary teacher, receiving in return only eaten and room.

Julio-December : It continues working like auxiliary teacher in Isleworth, a working district in the outskirts of London. Later it happens to be, under a Methodist parish priest, assistant of preacher and teacher. In November it gives his first sermon, deciding to dedicate his life to evangelizar to the poor men. Meanwhile it follows his interest by the painting, visiting the Gallery of Hampton Court. During Christmases it goes to house of his parents in Etten, who, scared by the state of their son, prevent the return him to London.


January-April : By recommendation of his uncle it finds a position of assistant in a bookstore of Dordrecht. It lives very single, it often goes to the church, and translates passages of the Bible to different languages; also it draws.

MAY : It convinces his mother of his religious vocation. It goes to Amsterdam to prepare itself to the examinations of the Faculty of Theology. It lives in house of his Johannes uncle, director of the municipal shipyards. Taking classes of Latin, Greek and mathematical. Lee much, goes to museums and draws. The studies were to him difficult, reason why it ends up interrupting them.


JULIO : He returns to house and later he goes with his father to Brussels. There he wants to make a course of three months to get to be preaching to seglar, having to return to Etten because the course begins in August.

August-October : It attends the evangelista school in Laeken, near Brussels, where they consider him nonapt for the preacher profession to seglar.

DECEMBER : Trying to follow his vocation it goes to Borinage, the Belgian carboniferous river basin near the French border. It lives in extreme poverty, visiting ill and reading the Bible to the miners.


January-July : In Wasmes (Borinage) they allow him to work like preacher during six months. It lives in a cabin, sleeping in the straw. Very he is affected by the conditions of life in which are the miners, to that supports with all his forces. Its annoying persistence to its superior ones, that they do not prolong the contract with the excuse of his rhetorical ineptitude.

AUGUST : It returns walking to Brussels to ask advice the Pieterson shepherd, teaching to him his sketches on the miners of Borinage. It returns to Cuesmes in the mining zone, where, until 1880 July, it follows the way of his vocation his way and without pay. Aid to the poor men and the patients, although he himself lives in the most extreme poverty. Lee much - Dickens, Hugo, Shakespeare -, continues drawing and its interest by the painting is increasing. It passes moments of very deep crises that will mark their future life. To the being criticized by his Theo brother on his activities, it interrupts during a time the correspondence with this one.


JULIO : He returns to write to Theo that supports to him economically. This one works now in the Goupil gallery of Paris. It describes his state to him of tortured insecurity.

August-September : It draws many scenes of the atmosphere of the miners; Theo encourages to him to it. Copy works of Millet.

OCTOBER : It goes to Brussels to study anatomical drawing and of perspective in the Academy of Art. It feels great admiration by Millet and Daumier. In November it knows Dutch painter Rappard, with whom it establishes friendship. Until April of 1881 it remains in Brussels.


SPRING : Encounter with Theo in Eppen, to speak of its artistic future. No longer it returns to Brussels. It draws landscapes. It receives the visit of Rappard, giving long strolls with him.

SUMMER : One falls in love, hopelessly, of his premium Kate (Kee) Vos-Stricker that finishes remaining widow or is of visit with its son in Etten. Kee returns, before the predicted thing to Amsterdam. Vincent starts off for Is It, visiting Mauve painter, to whom it admires much.

AUTUMN : She travels to Amsterdam with the intention to marry with Kee, but it not even receives to him. In front of his parents, to demonstrate the intensity of which she tries, she puts the hand in the flame of a lamp.

November-December : It visits Mauve in Is It, painting there his first nature died to the oil and some watercolors. The relations with the parents get worse, since still it insists on his relation with Kee and defends extremist religious ideas. In Christmas fight with its father, rejects its economic aid. Etten Leaves.

Period of 1882-1884

JANUARY : Vincent is transferred to Is It to live near Mauve that gives painting class him and it lends money to him. Theo sends to him between 100 and 200 florins to the month. Its relation with Mauve cools off then Vincent refuses to work with plaster models. It knows Clasina Maria Hoornik, Sien call, alcoholic that gained the life like prostituta and a model. She was pregnant woman, and Vincent took care of it.

MARCH : It breaks with Mauve, but to him it continues admiring. The relations with the other deteriorated painters are also something. Only Weissenbruch appreciates its works. It draws much copying of the nature, and his models, except a Sien, it finds them in poor districts. His Cornelis uncle does an order to him of twenty drawings to pen with views of the city; it was his only work by order.

JUNE : It is cured of a gonorrhea in the municipal hospital. It receives visits of his father and Tersteeg. It wants to marry with Sien, in spite of the opposition of the family and the friends. For the childbirth takes it to Leiden, where it looks for house to settle with his future family.

SUMMER : It studies thorough the problems of the color like preparation to the oil painting. Theo gives money him for the material that needs. Dot mainly landscapes. The father accepts a position of shepherd in Neunen and he goes away there with all his family.

AUTUMN : It remains in Is It what it is of year until the summer of 1883. Dot landscapes and draws of the natural one. Of the Sien and the internal ones asylum old with new born put for him. It knows Weele painter with whom, during the spring, dot by dunes. One is interested in the lithography. It continues reading much, even magazines like << Harper´s >&g; and << The Graphic >> .


September-November : After to have lived one year with Sien, takes, in common agreement with Theo, the painful decision to separate of her. Single march to the province of Drente in the north. It goes in boat to New Amsterdam, by where it gives long long walks. The landscape with the dark fields of crowd, causes a deep impression to him, since there were already to Liebermann and its friends to them Mauve, Rappard and Weele. Dot and draws to the farmers of the environs during its duro work. It visits the old town of Zweeloo in which Liebermann lived during long time.

DECEMBER : One is going away of Neunen to live there with his parents, remaining until November of 1885. During this stay of two years it paints about 200 pictures, characterized by his dark and terrosa tonality. In addition to Zola, read texts of Delacroix and Fromentin on the theory of the art, and are convinced of the narrow relation between the color and music (Wagner); it takes piano and song lessons. Their parents, ignoring their eccentric clothes and its showy behavior, want to help him and they leave him installs a study in the annexed building to the parochial house.


JANUARY : Her mother breaks a leg and must be thrown during long time; Vincent takes care of it affectionately.

MAY : Dumb its study to the house of the catholic sacristan. It receives the visit of Rappard.

AUGUST : With Margot Begemann, a neighbor, has one short relation to which both families are against. Margot tries to commit suicide.

August-September : Dot six pictures, very decorative, for the dining room of Hermans goldsmith in Eindhoven.

OCTOBER : Rappard visits to him.

October-November : It gives classes of painting to some fans of Eindhoven, they take a walk together, they visit museums.

DECEMBER : It spends the winter occupied with the studies of pictures, whereas, until now, most important they had been the weaving farmers and working and the landscapes.

Period of 1885-1888
The 26 of March die their father, Theodorus, of an attack to apoplexy; Vincent feels very affected. After a fight with his Anna sister, one is going away to live to his study in house of the sacristan.

ABRIL-MAYO: Pinta << Los comedores de patatas >> , la obra principal de su período holandés. Envía una litografía sobre este tema a Rappard, y al recibir la crítica de éste se acaba su amistad.

SEPTIEMBRE: El párroco católico prohibe a los habitantes del pueblo que hagan de modelo para Vincent (porque una campesina joven a la que había pintado se quedó embarazada). Pinta naturalezas muertas con patatas y nidos de pájaro.

OCTUBRE: Se va a Amsterdam con Kerssemakers, su amigo de Eindhoven, y visitan el Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt y Hals le impresionan mucho.

NOVIEMBRE: A finales de mes se traslada a Amberes, quedándose hasta febrero de 1886. Intenta entablar relaciones con otros artistas y quiere vender cuadros. Visita los museos, y es sobre todo Rubens el que le causa la mayor impresión. Mientras pasea por la ciudad encuentra xilografías japonesas, y las compra.


ENERO: Se inscribe en la Escuela de Bellas Artes, asistiendo a cursos de pintura y dibujo, y creándose problemas debido a su postura negativa frente a los sistemas didácticos academicistas. A pesar de ello participa en los exámenes de admisión para las clases superiores.

FEBRERO: Cae enfermo durante un mes debido a la mala alimentación, al agotamiento físico y al abuso del tabaco. A finales de febrero se muda a París, para tomar clases con Cormon.

MARZO: Llega a París y se cita con Theo en el Louvre. Theo, que dirige para Goupil una pequeña galería en el Boulevard Montmartre, le aloja en su casa. Entretanto la academia de Amberes había rechazado sus trabajos, pasándole otra vez al curso de principiantes.

ABRIL-MAYO: Estudia con Cormon, conociendo allí a Bernard, Russel y Tolouse-Lautrec. Theo le presenta a Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pisarro, Degas, Signac y Seurat. En este ambiente su escala cromática se vuelve más clara, lo que se nota especialmente en sus naturalezas muertas y flores.

MAYO: Su madre se va de Neunen. Los cuadros que Vincent había dejado lo compra un trapero, malvendiéndolos a diez céntimos la pieza y quemando los que no le compran.

JUNIO: Se va a vivir con Theo a la rue Lepic, en Mortmartre, pudiendo instalar allí un estudio. Pinta vistas de París al estilo de los puntillistas.

INVIERNO: Se hace amigo de Gauguin, que va a París desde Pont-Aven. Debido al car´cter difícil de Vincent la relación con Theo, el cual sufre una enfermedad nerviosa, es cada vez más tirante. Vincent escribe a su hermanadiciendo que esta convivencia es casi "inaguantable".


PRIMAVERA: En la tienda de material de pintura de "Père" Tanguy conoce a Bernard. Trabajan juntos pintando a orillas del Sena en Asnières. Discute con Bernard y Gauguin, negándose a considerar el Impresionismo como la cúspide del desarrollo de la pintura. En la Galería Bing compra xilografías japonesas. Va muy a menudo al << Café du Tambourin >> en el Boulevard de Clichy, teniendo una corta relación con la propietaria, Agostina Segatori, modelo de Corot y Degas. Expone allí junto a Bernard, Gauguin y Toulouse-Lautrec, decorando las paredes de xilografías japonesas. Este grupo se hace llamar << Peintres du Petit Boulevard >> , para diferenciarse de los << Peintres du Grand Boulevard >> (Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Seurat) que exponen en la galería de Theo.

VERANO: Pinta varios cuadros con la técnica del puntillismo.


FEBRERO: Vincent abandona París donde en dos años ha pintado más de 200 cuadros, para irse a Arles. La clara luz meridional y los colores cálidos le atraen; probablemente Toulouse-Lautrec influyó en esta decisión.

MARZO: Sueña en crear una comunidad de artistas, bajo cuya convivencia se solucionarían todas las necesidades materiales. Pinta muchos cuadros con flores y árboles en flor que le hacen recordar los paisajes japoneses. AL enterarse de la muerte de Mauve le dedica un cuadro. En el << Salón des Artistes Indépendants >> se exponen tres cuadros de van Gogh.

MAYO: Alquila por 15 francos al mes cuatro habitaciones que forman el ala derecha de la << Casa Amarilla >> en el Place Lamartine. Allí quiere materializar su sueño de la comunidad de artistas. Como la vivienda aún no está acabada, duerme entretanto en el << Café de l´Alcazar >> , que está enfrente, y come en el café de la estación de Madame Giroux. Pinta el famoso << Puente de Langlois >>.

JUNIO: Conoce al subteniente zuavo Milliet, al que da clases de dibujo y quien le acompaña en sus paseos.

JULIO: En las muchas excursiones que hace a Montmajour en Arles, pinta numerosos paisajes. Estimulado por la lectura del libro de Loti << Madame Chrisanthème >> realiza el retrato << La Mousmé en una silla de mimbre >>.

AGOSTO: Amistad con el cartero rural Joseph Roulin del que nace un retrato. Por medio del zuavo Milliet envía a Theo 35 cuadros. Pinta una serie de girasoles.

SEPTIEMBRE: Pinta muy a menudo de noche, al aire libre, para lo cual coloca velas en el ala de su sombrero y en el caballete. Conoce al poeta y pintor belga Boch y se hacen amigos. Se va a vivir a la << casa amarilla >>.

OCTUBRE: Gauguin llega a Arles, después de que Vincent se lo hubiera pedido varias veces.

DICIEMBRE: Visita con Gaughin el museo de Montpellier, donde ven la obra de Courbet: << Bonjour, Mounsier Courbet >> que más tarde inspiraría un cuadro de Gaughin. Empiezan las discusiones, lo que Vincent llama "tensión exagerada". Después de dos meses de convivencia sus relaciones empeoran. El 23 de diciembre, según el relato de Gaughin, Vincent le ataca con una navaja de afeitar. Gauguin sale corriendo de la casa y pasa la noche en un hotel. Aquella noche Vincent tiene un ataque de enajenación mental, cortándose la parte inferior de la oreja izquierda. La envuelve en un papel de periódico, llevándola al burdel para regalársela a la prostituta Rachel. La policía lo encuentra por la mañana herido en su cama y lo lleva al hospital. Gauguin se marcha a París e informa a Theo sobre el estado de su hermano, el cual sale inmediatamente para Arles. Se supone que su enfermedad ha sido originada por la epilepsia, el alcoholismo y la esquizofrenia.

Período de 1889-1891

ENERO: Vincent escribe a su hermano desde el hospital para decirle que ya está mejor, añadiendo incluso algunas palabras cordiales para Gauguin. El día 7 vuelve a la << casa amarilla >>; escribe a su madre y hermana cartas tranquilizadoras, a pesar de que está sufriendo de insomnio. Pinta dos autorretratos con la oreja vendada.

FEBRERO: Debido al insomnio y a alucinaciones tiene que volver de cuando en cuando al hospital, pintando, en el entretiempo, en la << casa amarilla >>.

MARZO: Algunos ciudadanos de Arles logran, a través de una solicitud, que sea internado otra vez en el hospital.

ABRIL: Recibe la visita de Signac con el que puede volverse a su casa, la cual mientras tanto había sido cerrada por la policía. Theo se casa con Johanna Bogner, la hermana de un amigo. Vincent vuelve a pintar, enviando a Theo dos cajas con obras maestras.

MAYO: A pesar de encontrarse ya mejor, entra, a petición propia, en el asilo para alienados mentales de Saint-Paul-de-Mausole en Saint-Rémy- de-Provence. Theo le paga dos habitaciones; una de ellas, con vistas al jardín, será su estudio. Bajo la custodia del enfermero Poulet puede pintar al aire libre, sobre todo paisajes.

JUNIO: A finales de este mes pinta cipreses.

JULIO: Tras un viaje a Arles y mientras pinta en el campo sufre un ataque, permaneciendo sin sentido; su memoria se va debilitando.

AGOSTO-NOVIEMBRE: Vuelve a pintar, aunque con varias interrupciones. Hace copias lires sobre temas de Millet y Delacroix. Escribe a Theo para hacerle saber que desearía volver al norte. Envía a Bruselas seis cuadros para la exposición de <>.

DICIEMBRE: Envía a Theo tres paquetes con cuadros. Sufre un nuevo ataque en el cual intenta comerse la pintura de los tubos.


ENERO: Expone en Bruselas. Toulouse-Lautrec desafía a duelo a un pintor que había criticado los cuadros de Vincent. Primera crítica entusiasta en el <>. Escribe a Theo para decirle que nunca se había sentido tan calmado. El día 31 nace el hijo de Theo, bautizándole con el nombre de Vincent Willem, como su tío y padrino.

FEBRERO: Dedica a su sobrino el cuadro <>. Theo le comunica que Anne Boch de Bruselas ha comprado su tela <> por 400 francos. Poco después sufre, de nuevo, un ataque que le obliga a reposar más de un mes. En el <> expone diez cuadros.

MAYO: Pasada su última crisis visita a Theo y su familia en París. A su vuelta se establece cerca de París, en Auvers-sur-Oise, viviendo primero en la posada Saint-Aubin y mudándose después al café del matrimonio Ravoux. Theo le había escogido este pueblo porque allí vivía el doctor Gachet, pintor aficionado y amigo de los impresionistas, que quería cuidar a Vincent. Gachet admira la pintura de Vincent y pronto se hacen amigos. En Auvers pinta más de ochenta obras.

JUNIO: Pasa un fin de semana con la familia de su hermano. Pinta <>.

JULIO: Va a París a ver a Theo, encontrándose también con Toulouse-Lautrec. Vuelve rápidamente a Auvers, pues Theo se siente agobiado por asuntos de trabajo y su hijo está enfermo. Hace varios cuadros con campos con un cielo tormentoso. El día 23 escribe su última carta. El día 27 por la tarde sale, volviendo al anochecer para encerrarse en su habitación. El matrimonio Ravoux se da cuenta de que sufre fuertes dolores. Vincent confiesa que se acaba de disparar una bala en el pecho. Gachet le pone una venda e informa a Theo. Pasa el día 29 sentado en la cama y fumando pipa. Por la noche muere y, al día siguiente, se le entierra en el cementerio de Auvers. Además de Theo y Gachet, van al entierro algunos amigos de París, entre ellos Bernard y <> Tanguy.

Después de la muerte de Vincent empeora la enfermedad de Theo, que muere el 25 de enero en Utrecht. En 1914 su viuda hace exhumar sus cenizas para trasladarlas a Auvers junto a la tumba de Vincent