Green Wheat Fields Auvers, 1890
Van Gogh was born as a child into an upper-class family and was serious, quiet and thoughtful. He thought about religion and campaigned as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He was in poor health and lonely before starting painting in 1881 after moving home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially. In 1886 he moved to Paris, where he won avant-garde employees such as Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who reacted to his impressionist sensibility. As his work developed, he created a new method of still life and the local landscape. His paintings grew lighter in the shadows as he devised a method that was fully realized during his stay in Arles in southern France in 1888. During this time he expanded his material to include olive trees, shrubs, cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.
Van Gogh experienced psychotic shocks and delusions and although he was concerned about his emotional balance, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank intensely. When the relationship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor, he injured himself in the right ear, in a psychotic episode. He spent some time in psychiatric nursing homes, including in Saint-Remy. After he was released and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, the naturopath Paul Gachet. His misfortune continued and on July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the torso with a revolver. He died two days later.
Courtesy, National Gallery of Art, Washington