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Word Count: 435
Perhaps the only way to disentangle for yourself the real Vincent Van Gogh from the creation of so many others is to study the great mass of work he has left behind Locally his art is on display at museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and New Yorks Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art In addition to his art some 600 of Van Goghs letters survive all translated into English Most are written to Vincents beloved and devoted brother Theo his sole supporter all his adult life both financially and emotionally Vincents correspondence describes a tortured life With a passion for life great as young man ever had he failed miserably in love friendship career and in the three relationships to which he was most devoted his Calvinist minister father his church and his god In 1880 at the age of 26 Van Gogh suffered his first nervous breakdown After a period of desperate wandering he wrote to his brother In spite of everything I shall rise again I will take up my pencil which I have forsaken in my great discouragement and I will go on with my drawing Vincent would turn that which had caused him so much suffering his overfilled heart toward canvas In a period of ten years most of which he was ill Van Gogh would produce some 800 paintings and a similar number of drawings His early work depicts humble subjects peasants mostly with a gentle hand that at times rivals his idol Jean Francois Millet His middle years are portraits room settings and still lifes of flowers with such intensity it seems the artist had captured a piece of the sun and used in his palate In his last years after admitting himself into sanitarium in St Remy the sun went inside Vincent and he created perhaps his finest work No artist with so much belief in himself ever endured such failure Vincent Van Gogh
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