12 Things You Didn't Know About Vincent Van Gogh

12 Things You Didn't Know About Vincent Van Gogh

One of the most important and significant individuals in art culture through the years and there is no doubt the legendary artist Vincent van Gogh born was one of the greatest artists in the world.


Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter. Who though remaining undiscovered and unappreciated in his short lifetime. However, is now considered to be one of the most famous and influential artistic figures in the history of Western art. Perhaps also one of the saddest figures in art history is Vincent Van Gogh, who took his own life at the age of 37.

Vincent Van Gogh went through many years of poverty and mental health problems, but we are here today to celebrate his genius and here 12 facts you didn't know about Vincent van Gogh.

Interesting Facts About Vincent Van Gogh

1. Where Does The Vincent Van Gogh Name Come From?

There were actually four Vincent Van Gogh's in art history, although we can surely state that our Vincent Van Gogh is a truly one-in-a-million.

The truth is that the Dutch artist was named after his older brother. Who tragically died when he was born, however, both the brothers were named after their grandfather who was also named Vincent Van Gogh.

The name kept going down the family line and it seemed popular with Van Gogh family. Vincent Van Gogh is still a common Dutch surname to this day, and we can only imagine how big the temptation must be for families to honor the iconic artist, by naming their boys Vincent.

Vincent Van Gogh Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Vincent Van Gogh Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

2. Did Vincent Van Gogh Have Mental Illnesses?

Yes, Vincent Van Gogh likely suffered from multiple mental illnesses and we are all familiar with Van Gogh as being a symbol of sadness and the tortured artist archetype.

Vincent Van Gogh problems ran much deeper than just common depression while studying his life and condition, modern psychiatrists have determined that van Gogh was likely to have suffered from a large array of conditions.

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Including schizophrenia syphilis, manic depression in the temporal lobe, epilepsy, and Geschwind syndrome.

Many also believe that van Gogh was autistic, as several family accounts have shown him to be a none communicative.

It's just a shame that such a genius talent and mind had to exist in the period where little help was available for his ailments.

Vincent van Gogh Mental Illness

3. When Did Vincent Van Gogh Start Painting?

He didn't start painting until he was 27 years old, Vincent Van Gogh should be an example to all of us who think it might be too late to follow our dreams.

Though many art prodigies are famed for creating masterpieces in their childhood Van Gogh didn't pick up a pencil or paint until later in age.

When Van Gogh was thrown out of his family home after a series of failed jobs and varied career accounts, he was too poor to even afford a set of paints, he relied on his brother Theo.

The same brother who actually became responsible for helping van Gogh survive financial crisis over the course of the next decade.

Vincent Van Gogh painting

Vincent van Gogh painting

4. Who Was Vincent Van Gogh Lover(s)?

Vincent Van Gogh lived with and loved a prostitute named Gaal and had many deep and long-lasting crushes in his life, including on a widowed cousin and an upper-class woman named Eugenia who was famously known as the love of his life.

However, it was a Dutch prostitute named CN whom he lived with for some time. Vincent Van Gogh not only took care of CN but he also took care of her baby, helping to raise the child even though it was not his own.

CN can be seen in his sketched portraits, but it is known that this love affair drove a wedge between Vincent and the rest of his family, and after some persuasion from his brother Theo.

Vincent left CN and moved elsewhere many believe he has always regretted that decision.


Vincent Van Gogh Prostitute

5. What was Vincent Van Gogh Most Expensive Painting?

The portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for eighty-two point five million dollars. Vincent Van Gogh portrait painting of Dr. Gachet is undoubted the artists most revered work in his signature style.

The oil on canvas painting depicts Dr. Paul Gautier the man who took care of Vincent in the final few months of his life.

Interestingly there are two authenticated versions of this portrait both of which were painted in June.

In at an auction house in New York City, the first version of the portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold for a record price of eighty-two point five million dollars that's one hundred and fifty million dollars in today's money.

Making it one of the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

The portrait of Dr. Gachet

The portrait of Dr. Gachet

6. Vincent Van Gogh Art Pieces

Vincent Van Gogh had a career that lasted just over a decade, Van Gough created approximately 2,000 pieces of art.

The collection included oil paintings and many sketched drawings, the bulk of his work was completed in France where he spent much of his life including the final two years.

Van Gogh's artwork over the years roughly equates to four pieces per week that is some pace, compared to other revered artists like Da Vinci.

Vincent Van Gogh Painting

Vincent Van Gogh Painting

7. Vincent Van Gogh Only Sold One Painting

During his lifetime, perhaps the most bittersweet fact of all, it is believed that van Gogh only sold a single painting during the course of his life.

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An oil painting red vineyards near Aires was exhibited at the annual exhibition of Les plaintiff in Brussels and was purchased by Anna Boch a fellow painter and art collector and friend of Van Gogh.

Red Vineyards near Arles

Red Vineyards near Arles

8. Vincent Van Gogh Was Made Famous By Johanna

Vincent Van Gogh was made famous by his sister-in-law. Although it is hard to contemplate the truth, it is that van Gogh remained an unknown artist throughout the entire course of his life.

It was not until after his death and after the death of his brother Theo that his widowed sister-in-law Johanna made it her mission to spread his works across galleries and exhibitions.

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Johanna inherited most of his pieces and when she died her son whose name was Vincent Jill, founded the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Where most of his artwork still remains to this day.

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

9. Vincent Van Gogh Was The First Selfie King

Van Gogh was the first selfie King though selfies are obviously seen as a recent phenomenon thanks to the invention of front-facing cell phone cameras.

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There is a strong case to regard van Gogh as the original selfie king, in a period of three years during his decade-long art career. Van Gogh produced a multitude of self-portraits, some art critics have labeled this excessive production as an exercise in artistic vanity.

Others have argued that due to Van Gogh extreme poverty and dire financial situation one of the subjects, that he could always really replicate without having to pay a model or buy props was himself.

Due to his lack of interaction with people, even finding friends to pose for him would have been a huge challenge.

Vincent Van Gogh Portrait

Vincent Van Gogh Portrait

10. Vincent Van Gogh In The Asylum

He painted some of his iconic works while in an asylum. Van Gogh had a significant mental breakdown in the winter he checked himself into the st. Paul Demma soul asylum.

Shortly afterward it was in this Asylum that he painted some of his most famous works, most notably the amazing starry night.

Though the painting has come to be regarded as one of Van Gogh's very best, the truth is that the artist himself was not pleased with the final result van Gogh considered the starry night to be a complete failure.

Along with the rest of the pieces that he created in the asylum, we have to wonder whether his fragile mental state impeded his judgment at that time.

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

The Starry Night Vincent van Gogh

11. Was Paul Gauguin Vincent Van Gogh's True Lover?

He likely had an affair with artist Paul Gauguin and he may have been the one who cut off van Gogh ear.

While the long-term object of Van Gogh affection was Dutch prostitutes, in the end, many believed that he also had a brief affair with the painter at Paul Gauguin.

The two lived as roommates in the South of France and van Gogh himself described their bond as being electric though there was certainly affection between the two, they shared the type of relationship that very often ventured into violence.

We have all heard different conflicting stories about the infamous act of van Gogh cutting his own ear off.

The story goes that the two artists became involved in a raging argument that culminated in van Gogh slicing a portion of his own ear off and later giving it to a prostitute.

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However, some scholars believe that Paul Gauguin was an accomplished fencer in his day was actually responsible for the injury. Not wanting his roommate and prostitute lover not to go to jail van Gogh took the blame to avoid criminal charges.

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

12. How Did Vincent Van Gogh Die?

There is a theory that Van Gogh killed himself as a result of his poverty and his ailing mental health.

There is doubt in some circles that the artist's fatal gunshot wounds were self-inflicted, history tells us that van Gogh shot himself in the stomach in a field then walked a mile back to the inn in which he was staying to die.

However, some biographers believe that van Gogh was actually shot by a young teenager who incessantly mocked him.

Given his mental state, Van Gogh might have seen this incident as a favor and therefore chose to die from his injuries rather than seek help.

This theory is supported by the fact that there was no gun ever found nor were there painting supplies in the field that van Gogh came from.

Irises Vincent by Vincent Van Gogh

Irises Vincent van Gogh

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The brother of Van Goch did not success to sell even one work of his brother. Some months after Vincent died his brother committed suicide

Mario Stein
the gun that shot VVG was just auctioned recently. That doesn’t settle whether it was suicide or not
Bob Fiftal

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