On the anniversary that marks the death of Vincent Van Gogh, we bring you 10 interesting facts that you most probably did not know about him!
He sold only one painting while alive, seven months prior to his death, for a mere 400 francs.
His last name is most commonly pronounced “Van Go,” it is actually pronounced “Van Gokh.”
Van Gogh did not begin painting until his late 20s and died in his late 30s
Van Gogh had several close relationships with other artists, including fellow painter Paul Gaugin. Van Gogh, Gaugin and Emile Bernard.
In fact, Paul Gauguin moved to Arles, France, where Vincent was living after he had a mental breakdown, to keep an eye on him when he heard of his friends health decline. In a matter of weeks, the two artists were constantly arguing, and could barely stand to be in the same room.
As well as creating hundreds of artworks in a span of just 10 years, Van Gogh wrote almost as many letters and postcards. These often included the first sketches of many of his most famous masterpieces.
Van Gogh’s most famous work, Starry Night was completed while he was in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where he was recovering from a nervous breakdown.
One of the most famous anecdotes of Van Gogh’s life concerns the artist cutting off his own left ear. In reality, only the lobe of the ear was cut off.
This allegedly happened after an argument with Gauguin that sent him into a rage that he picked up a razor and mutilated his ear. Another version of the story states he took his earlobe to the local brothel, where he offered it as a gift to a prostitute who also happened to be his neighbour.
He committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.
This happened a few months after fellow citizens of the town of Arles signed a petition saying that he was a danger to the community which led him to commit himself to an asylum. It was not a clean shot, and he did not die until nearly 30 hours after.
According to his brother Theo, his last words were “La tristesse durera toujours”, which roughly translates to: “the sadness will last forever”.
Theo died a few months after his brother and was buried near him too.
Vincent (left) and Theo (right) painted by VVG
Van Gogh’s posthumous success can be credited to his sister-in-law Johanna, the wife of his brother Theo, who committed herself to forwarding his legacy after his death.