Vincent Van Gogh is most famous for his art, and the fact that he cut off his own ear. While his skills as a painter have immortalized him, his quirks are no less impressive either. The artist struggled all his life, and did not impress anyone while he was alive. His death is shrouded in mystery as well, and while Van Gogh died from a bullet wound which most believe was self-inflicted, there are experts who argue that this may not have been the case.
Let us take a look at some little known and astounding facts about Vincent Van Gogh:
Fact 1: Van Gogh cut off part of his own ear. He did this after a fight with his good friend Paul Gauguin who he had threatened with a razor in a fit of rage. After calming down, he was horror-struck at his own actions and sliced off portions of his ear with the razor. Many people seem to think that he chopped off the whole ear in his fit of regret and madness. The truth, however, is that Van Gogh sliced of parts of his earlobe, leaving most of his ear intact.
Fact 2: Van Gogh learned and mastered painting almost exclusively on his own and was a self-taught genius. He was also consistently painting, irrespective of where he lived, and was able to come up with such a large number of paintings because of his
Fact 3: He created over 2000 pieces of art in the form of oil paintings, watercolor paintings, drawings, as well as sketches.
Fact 4: The Starry Night, Van Gogh’s most famous work was painted after he witnessed the scene from the window to his room in Saint-Paul, the mental asylum where he was living at the time.
Fact 5: Van Gogh suffered from depression and spent a lot of his life battling it. He eventually committed suicide when he was just 37 years of age.
Fact 6: Van Gogh had a sharp mind and spoke Dutch, French, German and English fluently by the time he was 15.
Fact 7: Van Gogh died poor and virtually unknown. It was only through the efforts of his sister-in-law; Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger that people eventually came to know about his master artist. She collected his letters and paintings and made it her life’s mission to get his the fame he deserved
Fact 8: Van Gogh owes a lot of his fame to his brother Theo. Theo Van Gogh took care of all his financial needs and supported him throughout his life while Vincent created thousands of works of art. Much that the world knows about Vincent Van Gogh, his work and his life, comes from the letter that Vincent and Van Gogh wrote to each other throughout their lifetime. Mere months after Vincent killed himself, Theo died as well.
Fact 9: While Van Gogh created new work at an average speed of roughly 2 paintings per week, in his entire lifetime he only ever sold one painting. This is the same artist who is now considered the most gifted Dutch artist after Rembrandt, and celebrated as a leader of the post-impressionist art style.
Fact 10: Van Gogh used to place candles on the top of the hat that he wore while working, and lit them at night, just so he could paint even when it was dark. Given the extraordinary number of paintings that Vincent Van Gogh completed during his relatively short lifespan, as well as the fact that he only started painting in his late 20s, it only makes sense that he painted during the day as well as night in order to complete his entire collection of work in approximately a decade.