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  • Vincent van Gogh
    Mar 30, 1853 – Jul 29, 1890
  • Houses in Auvers - Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th century art for its vivid colors and emotional impact. He suffered from anxiety and increasingly frequent bouts of mental illness throughout his life, and died largely unknown, at the age of 37, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His fame grew in the years after his death
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  • Vincent van Gogh
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  • May, 1890
    Oil on canvas
    72 cm (28.35 in.) x 60.5 cm (23.82 in.)
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, United States.

    The quiet dirt streets of Auvers were lined with old traditional French cottages, as seen here, with their charming rustic coloured shutters. It was not a wealthy area and the houses were for the most part small, with a number of poorer peasant cottages with thatched roofs. The village was dominated by two larger structures: the church and Dr Gachet's house, and was surrounded by open wheat fields and the Oise valley. In spite of Van Gogh's increasing mental instabilities, he was enthusiastic about Auvers and wrote to Theo, 'It is of grave beauty, the real countryside, characteristic and picturesque,'

    He painted the village and cottages numerous times. In most of these paintings, the slightly ramshackle buildings huddle together in a mass of leaning, uneven rooflines and blend into their surroundings so that they become a part of the landscape from which they rise. Here the overall tonality encompasses buildings, sky and greenery, though the colours are lighter and more delicate than many of his works. There is also a finer quality to the drawing with less of the heavy outline that came to characterize his later paintings.

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Other paintings by Vincent van Gogh:

The Lover, Portrait of Paul - Eugene Milliet
The Lover, Portrait of Paul - Eugene Milliet
The Starry Night
The Starry Night
Sunflowers 1889
Sunflowers 1889
Portrait of Adeline Ravoux
Portrait of Adeline Ravoux
Vincent Van GoghThe brilliant color and exuberant vitality of Dutch Post-Impressionist master Vincent van Gogh's paintings stand in stark contrast to his tragic, turbulent life. In 1880, after a series of failed careers, Van Gogh decided to become an artist. Lacking the resources for formal training, he acquired the necessary skills by sketching from books and prints. The artist's earliest works were scenes of peasant life, inspired by Breton and Millet. In 1886, Van Gogh traveled to Paris where he encountered the works of the Impressionists and the fashionable Japanese prints that were immensely popular in Parisian avant-garde circle.

The artist's Paris experience marked a dramatic transformation in his style and the beginning of an extremely productive period. Canvases from this period reflect a radical shift from the somber – paletted realism of his early works to vibrant expressionism. Inspired by the beauty of the area's rural landscapes, Van Gogh moved to Arles in 1888. The move coincided with the onset of the artist's struggle with mental illness and, after one particularly severe episode, he committed himself to an asylum at Saint Remy. While hospitalized Van Gogh continued to paint and it was here that one of his most compelling works, "The Starry Night" was completed.

The artist produced over one thousand works during the ten short years he devoted to painting. He sold only one painting prior to his tragic death, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.