Van Gogh Museum: The Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh Museum: The Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh showed a special artistic at a young age and take up painting lesson to improve his style / Photo by Ekinyalgin via 123RF


More than 125 years after the death of Vincent van Gogh, the artist continues to inspire a lot of people across the world. A number of artists were heavily influenced by his and artworks - whether it be by his choice of brushwork, subject, or sense of color.

The Life of Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, born on the 30th of March 1853, was raised in a big family. During his school days, he was deeply unhappy to the boarding school in Zevenbergen he was attending to. Still, he managed to complete his elementary schooling. He showed a special artistic at such a young age. Although he quit school during his second day for unknown reasons, he earned excellent marks, especially for languages.

Growing up, he learned to love the works of peasant painters such as François Millet and Jules Breton. He was also a religious person, as seen his letters for his brother Theo that are full of Bible quotes and accounts of church sermons. It was until his brother convinced him to focus on his drawings that he started to work on his drawing technique and came into contact with other artists.

Apparently, Vincent's parents are not happy with his path as an artist, although he still continues to practice drawing and often worked outdoors. He felt that his drawing technique is not yet good enough, thus he took painting lessons. Fortunately, his uncle trusted him to work on twelve drawings of city views in The Hague, which became an opportunity for him to develop his skills.

When Vincent transferred to Paris, his works grew steadily under the influence of modern art. He eventually developed his own style of writing using brighter colors and short brush strokes. From rural laborers, he began painting cafes, boulevards, and even portraits. Soon, he grew tired of his life in Paris. He longed for the peace of the countryside, thus he moved to Arles, a small town on the River Rhône.

Delighted with the bright colors and light in Arles, Vincent's style became looser and more expressive. In hopes to create an 'artist's colony', he rented four rooms on Place Lamartine with Paul Gauguin. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as Vincent thought it would be. Both of them has significantly different styles. Often, they would engage in arguments that caused tension between the two of them. Vincent began to exhibit signs of agitation that led him into cutting his own ear.

After the incident, Vincent remained painting however, his mental health fluctuated sharply. He voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Remy. Although going through continuous medication, his love for painting is still on fire. Often, he would paint the walled garden and he was later on allowed to work outside the hospital. But Vincent still experienced his bad days. His mental health continued to fluctuate. One time, he ate some of his oil paint while he's in the middle of an episode.

During this time, Vincent wasn't the only who appreciated his artworks. Six of his paintings were featured in Brussels along with other Belgian artists. I fact, an art critic named Albert Aurier published an article commending the works of Van Gogh. One his paintings, "The Red Vineyard," was even sold during the show. His works eventually became a part of the annual ‘Salon des Indépendants’ in Paris.

After Vincent left the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Remy, he moved into Auvers-sur-Oise which found the peace he needed. He spends many hours into his painting and his health seem to be improving a lot. In his letter to Theo, Vincent wrote: "As for me, my health is good, and as for the head it will, let’s hope, be a matter of time and patience." However, illness mental health illness continued to drag him down. He died on the 27th of July 1890 after he shot himself in the chest with a pistol.

The Van Gogh Museum

In honoring the memory of Van Gogh, a museum in Amsterdam was established in 1976. It features the largest collection of the artist's works with about 1,300 pieces of paintings. The museum is visited by over two million visitors every year, thus taking the second place for its global reputation ranking with a score of 81.9%.

Van Gogh Museum is the home of over 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent. It contains the most important collection of his artworks that continues to honor his name. According to the website of Van Gogh Museum, some of his paintings exhibited are "The Potato Eaters" (1885), "Sunflowers" (1889), "Almond Blossom" (1890), "The Yellow House" (1888), and many more.

According to European Traveler, the artworks featured in the museum change often with the permanent collection frequently enhanced by loaned works as well as temporary exhibitions. However, Van Gogh Museum went through a renovation to make sure that the building is safe as well as the visitors. After seven months, the museum finally opened to inspire more artists and introduce the life of Van Gogh to them.

Van Gogh Fashion Line

Indeed, Van Gogh was recognized as an iconic artist around the world. In celebration of his legacy, the Van Gogh Museum has collaborated with Vans to create a limited edition collection of his artworks. This will allow people, especially those who were deeply influenced by Van Gogh, to celebrate their love for his artworks. 

Vans x Van Gogh Museum features the most recognizable paintings of the artist printed in sneakers, t-shirts, and jackets. According to My Modern Met, part of the collection are a backpack, baseball cap, and high-tops printed with an Almond Blossoms (1890) pattern; shoe printed with Van Gogh’s Skull (1887); and a hoodie with a central Sunflowers (the 1880s) motif. Adriaan Dönszelmann, Managing Director of the Van Gogh Museum said in a statement, “We are delighted with the Vans x Van Gogh Museum collection, as it ties in with our mission to make the life and work of Vincent van Gogh accessible to as many people as possible in order to enrich and inspire them."


Van Gogh museum features 1,300 pieces of paintings and 700 letters / Photo by Sebastian Koppehel via Wikimedia Commons