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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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A walk through life with Vincent van Gogh at MFAH


Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston from March 10 to June 27. | Fiona Legesse-Sinha/The Cougar

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most notable artist in history, leaving a permanent mark on the art world. He is most well-known for his more popular works such as “The Starry Night” or his two-part series “Sunflowers.” If you’re not already a huge fan of Gogh’s works, you soon will be.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston will pay tribute to the Dutch artist in its new exhibition, Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art, on display March 10 through June 27.

In addition to the screening of the documentary “Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing” directed by David Bickerstaff, the event will feature various works spanning from Gogh’s early life to his untimely end.

Gogh was born March 30, 1853, in Zundert, Netherlands. During his young adult years, he worked various jobs, such as serving as an intern at an art firm and as a lay preacher, before deciding to pursue art as a career. 

Although he didn’t start painting until the age of 27, Gogh created other work throughout his life. From sketches to finished drawings, there were multiple instances where his inner artist manifested itself.

Gogh dedicated the last 10 years of his life to art, creating around 1,300 pieces in total, 850 of which were oil paintings.

Throughout his life, Gogh struggled with mental illnesses now assumed to be depression, paralyzing anxiety and signs of bipolar disorder. In a letter from his brother, Gogh is described as expressing madness

Gogh admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum for 10 weeks in the spring of 1890, during which time he produced many of his most acclaimed works. This includes “The Starry Night”, which was a depiction of his view from the asylum window.

Even after his self-release, Gogh openly expressed his isolation and feeling of loneliness. He also expressed hope for his mental recovery and artistic success.

On July 27, 1890, the then 37-year-old Gogh shot himself and died two days later.

While most of his works never reached critical acclaim in his lifetime, Gogh’s brother’s widow, Johanna, worked to promote Gogh’s works after his death. In part due to this promotion, Gogh is now known as one of the most famous painters in history.

Regardless of how much one knows about the artist himself or his works, Gogh’s pieces not only teach one about the art itself, but about what is behind it.

The exhibit costs only $20 with the student discount. To immerse yourself into the mind of this amazing artist, visit the Museum of Fine Arts website and pre-order your tickets here.

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