A Brief History of Vincent van Gogh




May: Reverend Theodours van Gogh married Anna Cornelia Carbentus.


Older brother, Vincent Willem van Gogh, stillborn March 30. Buried in Zundert cemetery.


Vincent Willem van Gogh, the artist, is born March 30 in Zundert, Holland.


May 1, birth of Vincent's brother Theo with whom Vincent developed a close bond.

• Siblings birth years: Anna, 1855. Elizabeth, 1859. Wilhemina, 1862. Cornelis, 1867.


October: Boarding school in Zevenbergen.


September: Boarding school in Tilburg until 1868.


July: Employed as a clerk at The Hague branch of Goupil & Co., an art dealership owned by his Uncle “Cent” Vincent.


August: Writes first letter to Theo.


Promoted to London branch of Goupil & Co. and made a very promising start as a sales dealer.

Rejected by his landlady's daughter, Eugenie Loyer.

Suffered (blessed with?) a personality change, becoming sullen and argumentative with customers.

Became intensely focused in religion.


October: Transferred to Paris branch of Goupil & Co., where it was hoped that he would improve his demeanor. He did not.


January: Returns to London branch.

May: Sent back to Paris office.


April: Dismissed from Goupil & Co. for his increasingly argumentative ways and religious fever.

Return to England, where he accepted an unpaid position as an assistant teacher at a boys school in Ramsgate.

June: Taught at a school in Isleworth with an emphasis on religious education.

December: Left to visit his parents; does not return.


January: Worked in a bookstore in the Dordrecht, Holland. Moody religious zeal continues.

May: Studies for theological school in Amsterdam.


Failed in his theology exams, but in August enters missionary school


January: Accepted an unpaid position as missionary in a community of coal miners in the Borinage district of Belgium. He lives like the coal miners, and suffers a great loss when many of his friends die in a mine cave-in.

July: Dismissed from his duties because of his behavior and possibly because of inciting the minors to strike for better working conditions.

Begins “moulting period.”


July: Decides to become an artist; begins sketching and painting.

September: Enrolled in classes at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Brussels.

Meets van Rappard.


April: Lives with his parents in Etten.

Falls in love with his cousin Kee Vos-Stricher, who rejects him.

December: Leave parsonage after argument with father.


Move to the Hague.

Studied under his Uncle Mauve, a popular contemporary artist.

Lives with destitute, pregnant, alcoholic prostitute, Clastina “Sien” Hoornick.

June: Sien’s boy is born.


September: Ended relationship with Sien. Moved to Drenthe.

December: Leaves to live with his parents in Nuenen, Holland.


January: Cares for injured mother.

July: Love affair with older woman, Margot Beregmann, who attempted suicide.

Teaches art to three men in Eidhoven.


March 27: Father dies suddenly.

April: Works on his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters.

Falsely accused of fathering a child by Gordina “Stein” DeGroot.


January: Enrolled in our classes in Antwerp, but argued with his tutors over artistic merit and was expelled.

February: Move to Paris where he lived with Theo.

March: Attends classes at Corman’s studio.

Meets Bernard, Gauguin, Pissaro, Signac, Degas, Guillaumin, Toulouse-Lautrec.


February 21: Arrives in Arles, Provence area of France.

June: Visits Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

September 18: Moves into the Yellow House.

October 20: Gauguin arrives.

Theo announces engagement to Johanna.

December 23: Total mental breakdown, cuts ear, hospitalized.

Gauguin leaves.


January: Leaves hospital, returns, then forcibly put in hospital again.

April 17: Theo and Johanna married

May 8: Admitted himself to the Asylum of St. Paul in San Remy.

The seizures continued. Painted Starry Night.

Received news Jo was pregnant and wish to name the child after him.


January: Vincent’s art praised by Albert Aurier in the Mercure de France.

February: Paintings exhibited in Brussels; sells painting Red Vinyard.

Left asylum against his doctor's advice.

May 17: Visits Paris to meet his nephew & godson, Vincent, and Johanna.

May 21: Arrives in Auvers, where he placed himself in the care of Dr. Gachet.

June 8: Theo, Johanna and nephew visit Vincent.

July 6: Vincent visits Paris.

July 27: Shot himself in the wheat fields above of Auvers.

With Theo by his side, Vincent died before dawn on July 30, aged 37.


Theo van Gogh dies six months later.


Johanna Bonger van Gogh publishes Vincent’s letters.


Painting of Irises sells for $53.9 million ($101.2m in today’s dollars)


Painting of Dr. Gachet sells for $82.5million ($134.6m in today’s dollars)


Total Work:

Paintings: 864

Drawings: 1039

Watercolors: 150

Lithographs: 10

Letter sketches: 133

Letters: 874

vincent self-portriat