Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) is often considered a tragic figure—struggling against madness, in and out of mental hospitals—yet he created works of genius. Shimmering with light and color, saturated with the intensity of his vision, they resound throughout the world of art.
Van Gogh could be delightfully amusing. Writing to his sister Willemina from Provence, the artist offered a self-portrait in prose: “My complexion has changed from green-greyish-pink to greyish-orange … and I am always very dusty, always more bristlingly loaded like a porcupine, with sticks, painter’s easel, canvases and further merchandise. Only the green eyes have remained the same.”
He sold only one painting in his lifetime, but over the course of a single decade he produced more than two thousand drawings and paintings.