Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died at the age of 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted (although no gun was ever found). His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.
Van Gogh began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes of flowers, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.
1.) Vincent van Gogh: The Life. Random House Digital, Inc.. 2011. p. 250. ISBN 9781588360472. "To revenge himself on his father. Vincent renounced religion as well as romantic love. “There is no God!' " he proclaimed. "For me. the God of the clergymen is as dead as a doornail." He boasted to Theo that his father and Uncle Stricker “consider me an atheist.” and blithely dismissed their accusations with Sarah Bernhardt's famous quip: "Que soit" (so what)."