This Dutch post-impressionist’s legacy lies in his expressive brushstrokes, bold and dramatic colours create expressive landscapes, portraits and still-lives. Within 10 years, Van Gogh created about 2,100 artworks including around 860 oil paintings. His work contributed to the modern art movement’s creation, though he was infamously not successful in his own lifetime, yet they are now some of the most important paintings sold and displayed. He was from a family of art dealers and joined the family firm.
Failure is just life sending you in a new direction, and after being unsuccessful in the gallery business, as a teacher, in love and as a preacher, Van Gogh became an artist, stating: “In spite of everything, I shall rise again...” and learnt to paint aged 28.
Van Gogh had an intense and painful love affair with painting, as with his previous career paths. He painted his first sunflowers in 1887, with a bright splash of sensuous yellow. He continued to paint many versions of the flower he referred to as “...somewhat my own”.