Van Gogh

5 of Van Gogh’s Best-known Paintings:

Vincent van Gogh is, hands down, one of the most famous artists; he is known for his innovative painting techniques and bold colors. Vincent’s paintings line the walls of museums and art galleries in various countries and cost a fortune. Yet, while van Gogh was alive, he was commercially unknown and had very little financial success in his painting career.

He was a dutch post-impressionist painter of the 19th century. Vincent van Gogh completed most of his artworks in the last decade of his life. Van Gogh started painting at age 27 and continued to produce over 900 oil paintings until his death at 37 years old.

Van Gogh once said: “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, ‘he feels deeply, he feels tender.'”

Although he did not see the effects of his work during his lifetime, Van Gogh’s pictures are filled with emotion; anyone who views his art can see that “he feels deeply.” Here are 5 of the most famous Van Gogh paintings.

Starry Night

Van Gogh
Starry Night

Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night is one of the famous Van Gogh drawings, but it is also one of the most incredible artworks ever created. Songs have been written about it, it has been used as a print for material, and only a few can say they do not recognize it.

Van Gogh suffered from mental instability; he was admitted into an insane asylum after cutting off his ear. Nevertheless, he had the freedom to roam about the institution and even had a room where he could paint.

This painting portrays the view from the window of his asylum room just before sunrise, with an imaginary village. Vincent once said that he found the night more alive and richly colored than the day.

This Van Gogh piece is teeming with rhythm due to the concentric lines from his brushstroke technique. It is said that the circles and swirls in the sky reflect his unsettled state of mind. Van Gogh did not think this painting was any good at the time; he would be amazed to know how it has inspired modern art.

Van Gogh Self-portrait

Van Gogh
Van Gogh Self-portrait

Self Portrait III 2 – Vincent Van Gogh

Most artists paint self-portraits; it is not a unique concept to paint oneself. However, each artist has a different way of doing this. For example, Vincent van Gogh claimed that it was not easy to know oneself, nor is it easy to paint oneself.

Nevertheless, we are thankful for the self-portraits of Van Gogh, as it gives us an idea of what the artist looked like and how he saw himself. Vincent struggled financially; he could not hire models to paint, so he painted himself to practice his skill to paint other people.

In this self-portrait, van Gogh looks serious and unkempt. But, as with van Gogh’s paintings of himself, he never smiles, which accurately depicts the sadness he often felt.

Since Vincent did not sell any of his paintings and rarely showed them to people. We can deduce that the purpose of his self-portraits was not to obtain sympathy but instead, to find ways to heal himself.

The Potato Eaters

Van Gogh
The Potato Eaters

The Potato Eaters  Р Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent did not like most of his paintings. However, there was one that he was especially fond of. The Potato Eaters was considered a masterpiece by van Gogh, although many of his family and friends criticized it.

Van Gogh wanted to depict what it was like to live in poverty. In this painting, van Gogh used peasants with bony hands and rough faces; he also put them in a dimly lit room with a green tint.

The subject of poverty for this painting could symbolize the hardships he faced while being poor. The incorrect anatomy of the figures in the picture incited criticism; however, for van Gogh, the focus of the painting was not the peasants but the message it held.

This painting is an example of how misunderstood van Gogh was. He was trying to say something important, but his audience was focusing on the quality of his work.

Irises

Van Gogh
Irises

Irises – Vincent Van Gogh

While Vincent was in a mental asylum, he continued to paint to ease his sorrows. He had access to the hospital garden and decided to paint the irises. Vincent van Gogh’s drawings usually accompanied his paintings; however, this van Gogh piece had none. Therefore, this painting was considered a study.

Japanese prints probably influenced this painting. It is full of bold outlines and unusual angles; it lacks shading, not taking the position at which the light falls into account.

Although Vincent suffered from severe depression and most of his paintings depicted his struggle, Van Gogh’s picture of the Irises is happy and full of life. Perhaps this is a representation of how art kept him from going insane.

Wheatfield with Crows

Van Gogh
Wheatfield with Crows

Wheatfield with Crows – Vincent Van Gogh

One of the most widely known paintings of Vincent van Gogh is Wheatfield with Crows, and it was painted 17 days before he committed suicide. If you note some of the aspects within the painting, you can unfold the probable emotional state of van Gogh leading up to his death.

The painting depicts a wheatfield during the day, but there are black shades in the sky. This could represent the dark feelings Vincent was experiencing after his recent mental breakdown. The slanted angle of the wheat is the result of wind; the wind and the dark sky could depict an oncoming storm. Perhaps the storm was a metaphor for the chaos inside Van Gogh’s mind.   

Crows are flying around, and crows are usually associated with death. But unfortunately, there is no one in the field, which might illustrate how lonely van Gogh felt.

The Bottom Line

Vincent van Gogh’s pictures are truly breathtaking. They are brave and bold; they laid the foundation for modern art as we know it. There is a sad beauty within each painting, as they depict different aspects of the tortured artist. However, van Gogh has inspired others to stray from conformity and embrace the art of individuality.