Vincent Van Gogh Essay, Research Paper
Biography of Vincent Van Gogh
What drove Vincent Van Gogh, born March 30,1853, to his mental illness and suicide? Could it have been the many things he tried, but failed at in his life? He failed in many different careers, in love, and even his artwork. Van Gogh sold only one painting his entire life. Because of his mental illness, he was considered a crazy person.
At the age of sixteen, Van Gogh went to go work with his Uncle Vincent, whom he was named after, as an art dealer at the Goupil and Co. This job had branches not only in Europe, but America also. Vincent was assigned the branch in London. There he got his first rejection in love. He fell in love with the daughter of his landlady. Van Gogh thought her feelings would be mutual, though she was not attracted to him. In fact, she was disgusted by him. She was engaged to be married, anyway. Because he was so hurt from this rejection, he took it out on his career. He told the costumers they were buying useless junk and insulted them for that. Van Gogh had to go to Paris and only his uncle?s influence allowed him a second chance with the firm. His harsh behavior toward the costumers continued. In 1876, the Goupil?s managers had to let him go.
Van Gogh, being the son of a Lutheran minister, was very much drawn toward religion. Van Gogh decided to prepare himself for ministry by training in the study of theology. He failed at the courses and could not be the minister he hoped to become. Even though he failed the courses, he still had the desire to be a minister. His superiors sent him as a lay missionary to Belgium instead. There he wanted to be like his father and help out the unfortunates as a preacher. He tried to fight poverty through the teachings of Christ. Van Gogh?s mission had to be discontinued. His approach to fighting poverty did not make his superiors happy. In 1879, he moved to his father?s home in Ettan and stayed a while. He then left Ettan and went to The Hague.
After leaving Belgium, he found he enjoyed painting stuff that moved him emotionally. He then thought painting would be the way to go in his life. Because Theo, his brother and only family member who really cared for Vincent, was delighted that Van Gogh was trying to find himself, Theo decided to send Vincent one hundred francs every month as an allowance. Van Gogh needed the money since he was a very poor man.
When Van Gogh was twenty-seven years old, he considered himself a failure. He could not hold a career and was not able to make a living. He could not stay in any job he tried, such as a an art dealer, a teacher, or doing missionary work. He felt he had no other way to go in life. He turned to the most helpless form of employment, being an artist. Theo supported hi decision and influenced him. Their relationship became close and they began a frequent correspondence.
At the end of the winter and during the beginning of the spring, Vincent was going to face yet another rejection from a woman. He went to visit his parents and met his cousin, Kay. She was a widow with a four-year-old child. Kay was several years older than Van Gogh was. Van Gogh, who thought he was in love with her, declared hi feelings for Kay. It only turned he off and she never wanted to hear from or see him again. She left and went back home the next morning. Kay?s leaving only made Van Gogh want her even more. He went to Kay?s parent?s house to find her. They refused to let him talk to Kay. This made Van Gogh feel even more abandoned and alone. The rest of Vincent?s family turned against him after that, also. Theo was the only one who still cared for him.
Once again, Vincent fell in love. This time he was not rejected. His new love was a prostitute with a child and pregnant with another. Christina, also known as Sein, was ill and smoked cigars. Van Gogh, thirty-years-old at the time, proposed to marry her. At first they were happy with each other. They had nothing in common except a background of misery. Arguments began and Christina slipped away from Van Gogh. After two years with Sein, Vincent was alone once again.
He met another woman. She seemed to care for him, though. Her family on the other hand, did not like Vincent. Once again, he was shut out and he felt he had nothing to offer. Because of this, Theo allowed Van Gogh to join him in Paris where he was living. There he discovered the world of art and a whole new type of art. He learned all about colors from the different painters, including Paul Gauguin, who became a close friend of Vincent?s. After staying in Paris about a year, Vincent decided it would be best to leave. He was not getting along very well with Theo and he thought he was not successful because Theo could not sell any of his art work. People would not even consider his artwork.
Van Gogh then moved out of Paris and bought he “Yellow House” in Arles as a Home of his own for painting. Theo still continued his frequent correspondence and monthly allowance of one hundred francs.
Vincent did not like it living in the house all by himself. He was beginning to get very lonely. Vincent wrote Theo a letter asking him to convince his old painter friend, he met in Paris, Paul Gauguin, to join him in Arles. He had hoped to keep each other company while painting. Gauguin agreed to the idea.
Near the end of October 1888, Van Gogh and Paul had such and argument Gauguin decided to leave for the night. Vincent secretly followed him and threatened him with a knife. Van Gogh returned home afterwards. At home, holding the razor in one hand, he started high at the back end of the ear, and downward so that the lower part of his left ear was chopped off. He then wrapped the ear in a cloth and gave it as a “present” to a prostitute.
Van Gogh later began having hallucinations of strange sounds and people trying to poison him. After the ear incident and these hallucinations, Van Gogh realized he was mentally insane and should send himself to a mental hospital at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole. At the asylum, they locked up Vincent during attacks such as hallucinations.
Vincent finally left the asylum, after staying a while. He then stayed with Theo and Theo?s new wife, Jo. When Van Gogh learned information that Jo was pregnant, another attack came on. After three days, he decided it would be best if he left.
On July 27, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh somehow got a hold of a gun. He went out to the country at the place he was staying at and shot himself in the upper abdomen. He walked up to his room and laid by himself bleeding to death, just like he had done after cutting off his ear.
Theo arrived the next morning and stayed until Van Gogh died July 29, 1890 at the age of thirty-seven.