Dutch painter, a leading exponent of expressionism. He was a lay preacher to Belgian coal miners before suffering a psychological crisis. Virtually self-taught, Van Gogh's early works, such as The Potato Eaters (1885), are Millet-influenced studies of working-class life. In 1886, he left Holland for Paris, where his palette was transformed by post-impressionism, experimenting briefly with pointillism. In 1888, Van Gogh moved to Arles, Provence, where he was joined by Gauguin. Suffering from mental illness and depression, he cut off part of his left ear after a quarrel with Gauguin. Van Gogh's paintings from this period include the Sunflower series (1888), and the Night Café (1888). He entered an asylum at Saint Rémy, where he painted a series of landscapes, such as Starry Night (1889). These paintings are executed with heavy brushwork in flame-like colour, with passionate expression of light and emotion. Van Gogh committed suicide in Auvers. In a brief and turbulent life, he sold only one painting and was supported by his younger brother Théo.
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