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Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, (1853-90). Dutch painter. The son of a .Lutheran pastor, he gave up his job as an art-dealer to become an evangelist among the Belgian miners, but was dismissed for giving away his possessions. After this his brother Theo financed his painting. Although his early work is sombre, after moving to Paris (1886) he began to use the pure colours of the impressionists. In Arles (1888) he painted many of his best-known works but suffered from fits of depression, in one of which he quarrelled with his friend Gauguin and cut off his own ear. This led to his confinement in the asylum at St Remy. In May 1890 he moved to Auvers, where he committed suicide. Almost unknown during his lifetime, he is now the most popular of the post-impressionist painters. His works, which now sell for huge sums of money, include A Cornfield with Cy-presses, The Yellow Chair, and Sunflowers.

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