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The rapid evolution of a style characterized by canvases filled with swirling bright colors depicting people and nature is the essence of Vincent Van Goghs extremely prolific but tragically short career Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30 1853 in Holland son of a Dutch Protestant pastor and eldest of six children His favorite brother Theo was four years younger When Vincent was twelve to sixteen years old he went to a boarding school That next year he was sent to The Hague to work for an uncle who was an art dealer but van Gogh was unsuited for a business career Actually his early interests were in literature and religion Very dissatisfied with the way people made money and imbued with a strong sense of mission he worked for a while as a lay preacher among proverty-stricken miners Van Gogh represented the religious society that trained him in a poor coal-mining district in Belgium Vincent took his work so seriously that he went without food and other necessities so he could give more to the poor The missionary society objected to Vincents behavior and fired him in 1879 Heartsick van Gogh struggled to keep going socially and fin ancially yet he was always rejected by other people and felt lost and forsaken Then in 1880 at age 27 he became obsessed with art The intensity he had for religion he now focused on art His early drawings were crude but strong and full of feeling It is a hard and a difficult struggle to learn to draw well I have worked like a slave His first paintings had been still lifes and scenes of peasants at work That which fills my head and heart must be expressed in drawings
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