Vincent Van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, in 1853. When he was in his teens he would go help his uncle who was an art dealer. In 1878, Vincent was studying to become a minister, but he failed his theology exams and could not be ordained. He became a preacher instead, and he preached for a poor coal -mining district. Van Gogh soon became interested in art, and in 1880, he started it as a profession.

He started out doing still lifes and scenes of pleasant life done in dark colors. In 1886, he went to Paris, France and experimented with impressionism and other modern styles. He also painted scenes or suburban and city life, and Vincent began to collect Japanese prints, which really influenced his work. In 1888, Van Gogh moved again, this time to Arles in Southern France. The sunlight and landscaping there inspired him to use more vivid colors. Because of his strong commitment with God, he started using the beauty of God's natural world in his art works.

He tried to show the presence of God in other living things through his paintings. Vincent even made a self- portrait. It shows a man of intensity and vision. Gauguin, a friend of Van Gogh's, visited him in Arles.

The visit was ended short because Vincent threatened Gauguin with a razor blade and ended up cutting off a piece of his own earlobe. Vincent spent the rest of his life fighting a mental illness that we are still not sure about to this day. When he realized that that his condition would never improve, Van Gogh committed suicide in 1890. Although Van Gogh was one of the most famous painters in modern art, he had only sold one painting during his entire lifetime and received little recognition.

Now his paintings are displayed in many museums.