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Vincent van Gogh

Europe

Van Gogh, with wild brush strokes, vivid colors, made everything seethe with life. He portrayed the vibrant world he felt so intensely, capturing the sun-drenched colors of the south of France into an explosion of creativity.

Complete Video Script

[66, Vincent van Gogh, 1853–1890; The Potato Eaters, 1885, Van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam] And among the boldest of these Post-impressionists was Vincent van Gogh. For Van Gogh, his life and art were intertwined. A humble pastor's son from a small Dutch town, he spent time helping poor coal miners…in search of his calling. He gave farm laborers the same dignity usually afforded aristocrats. Through his art he portrayed a vibrant world he felt so intensely.

[67, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam] He moved to Paris, and the City of Light opened up a whole new world of color. Vincent hobnobbed with the Impressionists. He studied their bright colors, rough brushwork, and everyday scenes.

[68] He painted shimmering reflections like Monet…café snapshots like Degas…still-lifes like Cézanne…and self-portraits like nobody else. He set out for the south of France. Energized by the sun-drenched colors and the breathtaking vistas, in just two years Vincent produced an explosion of canvases. Sunshine!…Rolling hills!…the patchwork farms… Working in the open-air, he feverishly painted the landscape, the simple workers, and the starry starry nights.