The Artist Birthday Series

Vincent van Gogh

The Red Vineyards At Arles, by Vincent van Gogh, c. 1888. This is the only painting confirmed to have been sold while the artist was still alive.
The Red Vineyards At Arles, by Vincent van Gogh, c. 1888. This is the only painting confirmed to have been sold while the artist was still alive.

Also around this time, Dr. Paul Gachet, who lived in Auvers, about 20 miles north of Paris, agreed to take van Gogh as his patient. Van Gogh moved to Auvers and rented a room. In May 1890, Theo and his family visited van Gogh, and Theo spoke to his brother about needing to be stricter with his finances. Van Gogh became distraught about his future, thinking that Theo meant he was no longer interested in selling his art.

On July 27, 1890, van Gogh went out to paint in the morning as usual, but he carried a loaded pistol. He shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He managed to walk back and was found bleeding in his room. Van Gogh was taken to a nearby hospital and his doctors sent for Theo, who arrived to find his brother sitting up in bed and smoking a pipe. They spent the next couple of days talking together, and then van Gogh asked Theo to take him home. On July 29, 1890, Vincent van Gogh died in the arms of his brother. He was 37 years old.

Wheatfield With Crows, by Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Though historians dispute which is the last completed work by Vincent before his suicide, it is agreed upon by many that this was his last completed work.
“Wheatfield With Crows,” by Vincent van Gogh, 1890. This is the field in which Vincent had gone to and shot himself in the chest on July 27, 1890. Though not confirmed, it is commonly accepted by historians that this is the final completed work by the artist before his tragic death.

Van Gogh’s body was set out in “the painter’s room” where it was surrounded by the “halo” of his last canvases and masses of yellow flowers including dahlias and sunflowers. His easel, folding stool and brushes stood before the coffin. Among those who arrived in the room were artists Lucien Pissarro and Auguste Lauzet. The coffin was carried to the hearse at three o’clock. The company climbed the hill outside Auvers in hot sunshine, Theo and several of the others sobbing pitifully. The little cemetery with new tombstones was on a little hill above fields that were ripe for harvest. Dr Gachet, trying to suppress his tears, stammered out a few words of praise, expressing his admiration for an “honest man and a great artist… who had only two aims, art and humanity.”

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