A Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853–29 July 1890) went on to become one of the most well-known and significant characters in Western art history after his death. He produced around 2,100 pieces of art in a ten-year period, including about 860 oil paintings, the majority of which were produced in the final two years of his life. These works, which range from landscapes to still lifes to portraits and self-portraits, are distinguished by their use of vibrant colors and dramatic, spontaneous, and expressive brushstrokes, which helped lay the groundwork for modern art. He did not have commercial success in his career and suffered from acute despair and poverty, which ultimately caused him to commit suicide at the age of 37.
Van Gogh was an artist who sketched as a youngster and was quiet, serious, and thoughtful. He was born into an upper-middle-class household. When he was younger, he traveled frequently for his job as an art dealer but fell into depression when he was sent to London. He became religious and served as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium, which was primarily a Roman Catholic region. He lingered in poor health and seclusion until beginning to paint in 1881 after returning to live with his parents. He received financial support from his younger brother Theo, with whom he maintained a close letter-writing relationship. His early works, which mostly consisted of still lifes and representations of peasant laborers, lacked the vibrant color that would eventually come to define his style. He relocated to Paris in 1886, where he met members of the avant-garde who were protesting the Impressionist aesthetic. As his body of work matured, he acquired a fresh perspective on still lives and local landscapes. As he established a style that was fully realized while he was living in Arles in the South of France in 1888, his paintings got brighter. He expanded his subject matter during this time to include a number of olive trees, wheat fields, and sunflowers.
Van Gogh concentrated on his painting and drawing in Nuenen. He rapidly and efficiently made sketches and paintings of weavers and their huts while working outside. The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen, which was taken from the Singer Laren in March 2020, was also completed by Van Gogh. Margot Begemann, a neighbor's daughter who was 10 years his senior and who joined him on his excursions starting in August 1884, fell in love with him and he did too, albeit less passionately. Both of their families were opposed to their intended marriage, despite their desire. Margot overdosed on strychnine out of distress, but she recovered after Van Gogh hurried her to the hospital. His father suffered a heart attack and died on March 26, 1885.
In 1885, Van Gogh created a number of still-life groupings. He did countless drawings, watercolors, and approximately 200 oil paintings during his two years in Nuenen. His use of color was primarily gloomy earth tones, especially dark brown, and there was no indication of the vibrant hues that would later come to characterize his work.