Vincent Van Gogh's first painting is titled "The Potato Eaters." It was painted in 1881 when Van Gogh was twenty-eight years old. It seems that Van Gogh was bitten by a very powerful artistic bug. Over the next nine years Van Gogh painted 900 paintings in total – at least those are the ones that have been found and identified.
Ironically, Van Gogh's most famous paintings, "Starry Night," Irises," and so forth were painted toward the end of his career while he was institutionalized in Saint-Remy, France. As an aside, it has been proven that Van Gogh was not actually mentally ill in the traditional sense, that many of his problems were caused by physical afflictions.
For all intents and purposes, Vincent Van Gogh's career ended in 1890.