Vincent van Gogh (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: During his brief artistic career, van Gogh gave expression to a passionate vision of nature and humanity. Following his death, his paintings came to be acknowledged by critics and the public as constituting one of the highest achievements of nineteenth century art.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was born in Zundert, the Netherlands, on March 30, 1853. His father, the Reverend Theodorus van Gogh, was thirty-one years old at the time of Vincent’s birth; his mother, Anna Cornelius Carbentus, was three years older than her husband. Among van Gogh’s three sisters and two brothers, Vincent was to be close only to his brother Theodorus (called Theo), who was an important influence in his life. Vincent’s family had been established for generations in the Dutch province of North Brabant, near the southern border with Belgium. Among his ancestors could be found preachers, craftsmen, and government officials, and his living relatives included several uncles prominent in business and government. Vincent’s father, a Protestant minister, was a handsome man but not a gifted preacher. Working quietly in several rural parishes until his death at age sixty-two, he was able to provide for his family in a respectable but modest fashion.
Vincent enjoyed a happy childhood and was especially attached to the natural world; drawings he made as early as age eleven show a keen observation of plant life....
(The entire section is 3342 words.)
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