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Vincent van Gogh Timeline

A Chronology of Vincent van Gogh's Life

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© Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation); used with permission

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890). Self-portrait with Straw Hat, 1887. Oil on cardboard. 40.8 x 32.7 cm (16 1/16 x 12 7/8 in.).

© Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

1853

Born March 30 in Groot-Zundert, North Brabant, The Netherlands; oldest surviving son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus (1819-1907) and Theodorus van Gogh (1822-1885), a Dutch Reformed Church minister's five children.

1857

Brother Theodorus ("Theo") van Gogh born, May 1.

1860

Sent to local elementary school.

1861-63

Homeschooled.

1864-66

Sent to boarding school in Zevenbergen.

1866

Attends Willem II College in Tilburg.

1869

Joins art dealer Goupil & Cie in The Hague through family connections.

1873

Goes to London office of Goupil; Theo joins Goupil in Brussels.

1874

October-December in head office of Goupil in Paris, returns to London.

1875

Transferred to Goupil in Paris (against his wishes).

1876

March dismissed from Goupil; Theo goes to Goupil in The Hague; Vincent acquires an etching of Millet's Angelus; teaching post in Ramsgate, England; returns to Etten where his family lives in December.

1877

January-April book clerk in Dordrecht; May in Amsterdam, stays with uncle Jan van Gogh, a naval yard commander; prepares for university studies for the ministry.

1878

July gives up studies and returns to Etten; August admitted for three-month period at a school of evangelism in Brussels--but fails to obtain post; leaves for coal-mining area near Mons, known as Borinage, in Belgium, and teaches the Bible to the poor.

1879

Begins work as missionary for six months in Wasmes.

1880

Travels to Cuesmes, lives with a mining family; moves to Brussels to study perspective and anatomy; Theo supports him financially.

1881

April leaves Brussels to live in Etten; attempts to have a romantic relationship with his widowed cousin Kee Vos-Stricker, who spurns him; quarrels with his family; leaves for The Hague around Christmas.

1882

Studies with Anton Mauve, a cousin by marriage; lives with Clasina Maria Hoornik ("Sien"); August, his family moves to Nuen.

1883

September leaves The Hague and Clasina and works alone in Drenthe; December returns to Nuen.

1884

Watercolors and studies of weavers; reads Delacroix on color; Theo joins Goupil in Paris.

1885

Paints about 50 heads of peasants as studies for Potato Eaters; November goes to Antwerp, acquires Japanese prints; father dies in March.

1886

January-March studies art at Antwerp Academy; moves to Paris and studies at Cormon studio; paints flowers influenced by Delacroix and Monticelli; meets Impressionists.

1887

Impressionists' palette influences his work; collects Japanese prints; exhibits in a working-class café.

1888

February goes to Arles; lives at 2 Place Lamartine in the Yellow House; visits Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Carmargue in June; joined by Gauguin on October 23; both artists visit Alfred Bruyas, Courbet's patron, in Montpellier in December; their relationship deteriorates; mutilates his ear on December 23; Gauguin leaves immediately.

1889

Lives in mental hospital and in the Yellow House at alternate intervals; May voluntarily enters hospital in St. Rémy; Paul Signac comes to visit; Theo marries Johanna Bonger on April 17.

1890

January 31, a son Vincent Willem is born to Theo and Johanna; Albert Aurier writes article about his work; Vincent leaves hospital in May; briefly visits Paris; goes to Auvers-sur-Oise, less than 17 miles from Paris, to begin care under Dr. Paul Gachet, who was recommended by Camille Pissarro; shoots himself July 27 and dies two days later at age 37.

1891

January 25, Theo dies in Utrecht of syphilis.

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