Wednesday, 27 July 2011

On This Day in Art History

On this day (June 27) in 1890, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in a wheat field near the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise.  He died two days later at the age of 37.

Van Gogh's suicide was the tragic culmination of years of mental and physical illness. (It has been said that he suffered from epilesy, schizophrenia, a disorder of the inner ear, among other ailments.  He was also thought to be addicted to absinthe, the mind-bending alcoholic drink, which was also known as the Green Dragon or the Green Fairy).

The artist left behind a priceless legacy of impressionist masterpieces.  His genius, however, went unrecognised in his lifetime.  He died a pauper, having only ever sold one of his paintings, Red Vineyard in Arles.

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