Lesser-known Facts About Vincent Van Gogh

The Dutch post-impressionist painter whose artistic creation was limited to a single decade, Vincent Van Gogh’s work has left an indelible impression on the world of fine art and has profoundly influenced just about every artist across the globe in one way or another.

Van Gogh lived for 37 years only and having sold just one artwork during his lifetime, the painter did not live long enough to witness the extent of his legacy, which includes his works now being some of the most valuable and expensive in the world. Curious to know more about him and his life? Read on.

Van Gogh’s Epilepsy May Have Deeply Influenced His Work

Much of his creations prominently feature the color yellow, the most famous example being “Starry Night” which depicts yellow spots surrounded by coronas that are remarkably similar to a known side effect of digitalis, a medicine often used to treat epilepsy during Van Gogh’s time. The altered visual perception stemming from the effect of the medication has therefore been theorized to have had a possible influence on the way the artist perceived the world, as clearly reflected in his artworks.

“Starry Night” Depicts Van Gogh’s View From an Asylum

Van Gogh had checked himself in an asylum in France, following a nervous breakdown. During his stay at the asylum, he painted “Starry Night”, which depicted the view from his room’s window at the asylum.

It Has Been Speculated That His Death Wasn’t A Suicide

The long-held theory associated with the painter’s death is that on July 27, 1890, he shot himself in the abdomen while painting in a wheat field in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, and died two days after at the inn where he was residing. However, in a recent biography of Van Gogh, the respected co-authors offered an alternative theory: he was accidentally shot by a teenage boy who was known to have mocked Van Gogh, but the lonely painter said his wound was self-inflicted because he felt the teen was helping him out by pulling the trigger, thereby putting an end to his unhappiness.

The Principle of Turbulence, As Visualized by Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s stylistic tendency is often said to depict the mathematical principle of turbulence, one of the most complex, and still not entirely fathomed principle in the mathematical field. Van Gogh was undoubtedly well ahead of his time and incredibly utilized the visual representation of turbulence, with remarkable mathematical precision, to reflect the chaos he struggled to endure throughout his brief lifetime.

The artworks of Vincent Van Gogh were inherited by his nephew, Vincent Willem van Gogh who eventually founded the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 1973.

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