Van Gogh‘s “Starry Night” is one of the most iconic paintings in the world, and the artist himself is one of the most well-known figures in history. However, there are still many things that people don’t know about him. Here are 10 facts that you might not be aware of:
1. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime – The Red Vineyard at Arles.
Van Gogh was not commercially successful during his lifetime and only sold one painting, The Red Vineyard at Arles, for 400 francs (approximately $60 US dollars at the time). He did, however, give many of his paintings to friends and family.
2. Van Gogh was not actually Dutch.
Despite the fact that he is one of the most famous Dutch painters in history, Van Gogh was actually born in the Netherlands’ southern province of Zundert, which was then part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands but is now part of Belgium.
3. Van Gogh suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy.
Van Gogh’s seizures were likely caused by temporal lobe epilepsy, a condition that can lead to hallucinations and other mental health issues. It’s possible that his condition contributed to his unique artistic style.
4. Van Gogh cut off his own ear.
One of the most famous stories about Van Gogh is that he cut off his own ear during a fit of madness. While this is true, the story is actually more complicated than that. Van Gogh actually cut off the lower part of his earlobe, not his entire ear. He later gave the severed lobe to a prostitute named Rachel as a gift.
5. Van Gogh was friends with Paul Gauguin.
Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were friends and fellow artists who lived and worked together for a time in Arles, France. However, their relationship was fraught with tension, and they eventually had a falling out. Gauguin left Arles abruptly, and Van Gogh later committed suicide.
6. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” was painted from memory.
Van Gogh famously painted “Starry Night” while staying at an asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. He based the painting on his memory of the view from his window, which he couldn’t actually see due to the bars.
7. Van Gogh’s paintings are now worth millions of dollars.
If Van Gogh had been alive today, he would be astounded to know that his paintings are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, his painting “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was recently sold for a record-breaking $82 million at auction.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about this fascinating artist!