Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.
In just over a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.
He was not commercially successful, and his suicide at 37 came after years of mental illness and poverty.
“Instead of trying to render exactly what I have before my eyes,” Van Gogh told his brother, “I use color more arbitrarily in order to express myself forcefully.” This emotional, subjective use of color would prove enormously influential on modern art.
“I’d like to paint in such a way that…everyone who has eyes could understand it,” Van Gogh once said.
His painting Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers was sold for USD 39.7 million in 1987.