Famous Failure – Vincent Van Gogh

“Vincent Willem Van Gogh” was born on 30th March 1853 in a Dutch Reformed Church family in Groot-Zundert, in the predominantly Catholic province of North Brabant in the Netherlands. He was the oldest surviving child of Theodorus van Gogh, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Van was born into an upper-middle-class family and was quiet, serious, and thoughtful.

Vincent failed multiple times in his life: he failed an entrance exam to become a religious leader. He tried taking an alternative route to be a one, but again he failed.

Vincent is one of the most inspirational painters in modern history and is recognized for painting some of the most notable works of art of all time. Throughout his life, Van Gogh produced 2,100 various pieces of art, which included 860 oil paintings, most of which were painted within the last 2 years of his life.

At a young age, he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He moved to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He suffered through ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881. Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and was only bothered about his mental stability; he often ignored his physical health, did not eat properly, and drank heavily.

“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right.”

His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept a long communication by letter. Vincent was unsuccessful throughout his life, and he was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide and existed in the public imagination as an unrecognized genius, the artist “where discourses on madness and creativity converge”.

The tragedy with Gogh’s life is he managed to sell only one painting during his lifetime, The Red Vineyard (1888), which was purchased by Belgian painter Anna Boch in 1890 for 400 francs (then £16). Nowadays, his paintings are price for millions of USD, but people of time didn’t appreciate his art and he died in poverty.

The Red Vineyard

On the whole, Van Gogh considered himself a big failure and didn’t feel that life was worth living. That also could be because much of his life was lived steeped in poverty and battling mental illnesses. Still, it’s crystal clear that Van Gogh was a pure mastermind, with an eternal imagination and talent to convert the pictures in his mind into wild landscapes and portraits filled with illustrative brushstrokes and bold impressionistic vibrancy.

List of Most Popular Paintings by Vincent Van Gogh

1. Starry Night, 1889

2. Sunflowers, 1889

3. Self Portrait, 1889

4. The Potato Eaters, 1885

5. Wheatfield with Crows, 1890

6. Irises, 1889

7. The Bedroom in Arles, 1888

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

1 thought on “Famous Failure – Vincent Van Gogh”

Leave a comment