Vincent van Gogh is born on 30 March in the small village of Groot-Zun
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Vincent van Gogh is born on 30 March in the small village of Groot-Zundert, Holland to
Theodorus Van Gogh (1822-1885) and Anna Cornelia née Carbentus (1819-1907).
Vincent's brother, Theo, is born on 1 May.
Vincent begins schooling in Zevenbergen. He learns French, English and German and
begins drawing for the first time.
After finishing his schooling, Vincent is apprenticed to Goupil & Cie, art dealers from
Paris with a branch established in the Hague by his uncle Vincent (Uncle "Cent").
Vincent makes frequent visits to the museums of The Hague.
Vincent spends a good deal of time with his brother, Theo. They begin a lifelong
correspondence which today offers the best means of studying Vincent's opinions,
feelings and state of mind.
Vincent is transferred to the London branch of Goupil & Cie. He visits the museums and
galleries and expands his knowledge of art. In the summer, Vincent falls in love with the
daughter of the Mrs. Ursula Loyer, who runs the boarding house where he is staying. He
is rejected and extremely depressed.
Vincent shows little interest in his position at Goupil & Cie and eventually transferred to
the Paris branch. By the end of the year, however, he returns to London.
Vincent's performance at Goupil & Cie deteriorates while, at the same time, his devotion
to his bible studies reach an obsessive level.
After resigning his position in the early spring, Vincent journeys to Ramsgate, England
where he takes a post at a small boarding school. Later in the year Vincent takes a new
job as a teacher and curate with Reverend T. Slade Jones, a Methodist minister. As
Vincent's religious fervour increase, his physical and mental state take a downturn.
Vincent leaves England and takes a temporary job in a bookshop. As with his Goupil &
Cie position, Vincent shows little interest and behaves abrasively toward his colleagues
and clients. Vincent then pursues religious studies in Amsterdam.
Vincent's formal religious studies come to an end, but, determined to pursue a religious
vocation, Vincent travels to the Borinage, a coal-mining district in Belgium. The
conditions for both Vincent and the miners is extremely bad (look to some of Vincent's
etchings from the period for an idea as to the bleakness and oppressively dismal
atmosphere). Vincent reads from the bible to the miners and lives in complete poverty.
His work at the Borinage continues. Vincent devotes all of his energy toward helping the
miners--giving them clothes and food he can ill afford himself. His religious enthusiasm
and drive to help the impoverished miners eventually attracts the attention of his
superiors who feel that Vincent's behaviour is too extreme. Vincent is soon relieved of
his position in the Borinage and subsequently suffers depression at what he perceives to
be a failed effort.
Vincent then moves on to Cuesmes to continue similar work helping the miners. It is at
this time, however, that his religious devotion begins to wane and his interest in painting
A turning point in Vincent's life. Vincent abandons his religious pursuits and devotes
himself exclusively to painting the miners and poverty-stricken weavers. Theo begins to
financially support Vincent, a situation that would continue until the end of Vincent's life.
Later in the year, Vincent undertakes some formal studies of anatomy and perspective
at the Academy in Brussels.
Vincent visits Theo in Etten and, later in the year, has his advances rejected by his
cousin Cornelia Adriana Vos-Stricker (known as Kee). Vincent is devastated by this
rejection, but throughout the period also follows his artistic pursuits. He spends time
with the painter, Anton Mauve (1838-1888) who first introduces Vincent to watercolors.
The situation with Kee causes Vincent's mental state to once again deteriorate and his
relationship with his father also begins to crumble.
Vincent meets Clasina Maria Hoornik (known as Sien) and they move in together. Sien
is a prostitute with a five year old daughter and is pregnant with another child. While
continuing his studies and painting with some acquaintances (painters Jan Hendrik
Weissenbruch and George Hendrik Breitner), Vincent's physical state again deteriorates
and he is hospitalized for three weeks for gonorrhoea. Upon his release Vincent begins
to experiment with oils and spends much
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Vincent van Gogh, Theo van Gogh, Vincent, Van Goghs family in his art, Sien, Van Gogh Museum, Auvers-sur-Oise, Japonaiserie, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, Paul Gachet, Vincent van Gogh chronology, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
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