The Life and Inspiration of Vincent van Gogh

Hearing his name invokes a plethora of impressions, thoughts, and feelings. More than any of the great masters, there is poignancy to the name, Vincent van Gogh. It has become a name that has gone far beyond the art community, penetrating every lane and byway of social consciousness. Some imagine a very strange man. Others envision an earnest painter or an ethereal visionary. Some think of a committed believer, or pity a demented man. Some admire a creative genius. ALL are correct!

The Paradox of Vincent van Gogh

One of the most beloved artists of all time, Vincent van Gogh is among the most influential of all historical figures. His paintings and sketches sell for millions around the world. On November 13, 2017, one of his painting titled, “Laboureur dans un champ” sold for $81.3 million at a Christies auction. But, sadly, during Van Gogh’s short life of 37 years, he saw none of the benefits.

Vincent Willem van Gogh / 1853 – 1890

During his brief career, he did not experience much success, because he sold only one painting, lived in poverty, malnourished and overworked … In spite of his lack of success during his lifetime, van Gogh’s legacy lives on having left a lasting impact on the world of art. Van Gogh is now viewed as one of the most influential artists having helped lay the foundations of modern art. Van Gogh Gallery

The Genius of Vincent van Gogh

He truly was the living embodiment of persistence, stubbornness, and inspiration. He did not “play well with others,” as his biography illustrates, yet he inspired future generations. His pursuit of pure art drove him to follow, almost stalk, many of the leading artists of his day. Some of them are also known as great masters today. Yearning to glean from their acumen, Vincent always ended up in personal conflicts.

He was bullied by locals, outcast by most of his family, outlawed by a parish priest who sanctioned the villagers against posing for him, rejected by a proposal of marriage, and confined for a time in an asylum. Yet through it all, he painted everything around him. He would go out into the fields, the cities, the cafes, and even in his room to put the world on canvas. Somehow, despite his many obstacles, he was productive.

In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.

The Legacy of Vincent van Gogh

On 27th July 1890 a gaunt figure stumbled down a drowsy high street at twilight in the small French country town of Auvers. The man was carrying nothing; his hands clasped to a fresh bullet wound leaking blood from his belly. This was Vincent van Gogh, then a little known artist; now the most famous artist in the world. His tragic death has long been known, what has remained a mystery is how and why he came to be shot.

Alas, that cannot be done, and perhaps it would not have changed a thing. One thing I believe: Vincent is loved and admired by more people in the world today, on every continent, that lived on earth in his day. In 2017, an animated film was released about his life and untimely demise. It is entirely composed of oil paintings by living artists. The European Film Academy bestowed upon it the Animated Feature Film Award. Throughout Europe and around the world, it is inspiring lovers of art.

The Fame of Vincent van Gogh

Despite a tragic life, Van Gogh became one of the most recognized artists in history. His experiences with poverty, mental illness, and social reclusion did not diminish the greatness of his artistic depth. Most creative souls start off as “starving artists,” so to speak, but they take great comfort in Van Gogh. I wish I could take one of his paintings back in time, hand it to Vincent, and tell him, “Do not despair, this painting just sold for several million dollars. Here’s the money. We now have your oeuvre. Go and build your art colony!”

Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 125 painters.

I consider myself one of Vincent’s fans, and I always love doing paintings, “after Van Gogh.” His genre is fun and alive. As much time I spend drawing off this great artist’s impact, there is never a bottom to the well of inspiration. By sharing my art with the world, I feel connected to post impressionism. My meagre collection can be viewed online.

Ed Lowe
Winter Park, Florida