Van Gogh wasn't only good at painting, he also wrote.
Indeed, during his life, the artist wrote many letters to his brother, Theo. While some might have been lost, 663 of the letters addressed to Theo were found.
Today, this correspondence provides irreplaceable information, both on Vincent Van Gogh's life and on the artistic world of the time.
2. He was friends with Paul Gaugin.
Van Gogh and Gauguin, linked by their love of painting, formed an inseparable duo for many years. Their shared passion for art, however, soon turned into quarrels that pushed the pair apart. Van Gogh will then represent, on multiple occasions, Gauguin's favorite chair in the Maison Amarilla in Arles, where they lived together in the fall of 1888 for two months.
3. He cut his own ear off.
On December 23, 1888, Van Gogh loses both his brother and his best friend.
Indeed, first, Theo sent him a letter to announce his marriage. This new wasn't pleasing to Vincent as his brother was his only financial and emotional support. That same day, another dispute broke out between Vincent and Gaugin who left for Paris the next day. Suffering from hallucinations, and terrified of being excluded by his loved ones, Vincent Van Gogh cut his ear off with a razor.
4. He was religious.
Before starting his career as a painter, Van Gogh wanted to become a Protestant pastor. He, however, failed the theology exams which prevented him from following his father's and grandfather's path.
Surprisingly, religion is only mentioned in his last paintings in which he interprets works by Delacroix and Rembrandt
5. He only sold one painting.
Although Van Gogh produced over 900 paintings, he only sold one during his lifetime.
'The Red Vineyard' was bought in Brussels for 400 francs (about 800 euros) a few months before his suicide.
6. He went to an asylum.
In 1889, Vincent admitted himself to an asylum at Saint Remy de Provence due to his struggles with his mental health. During this year, he made around 150 paintings, including 'The Starry Night'.
7. He comitted suicide.
On July 27, 1890, in Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent Van Gogh was shot in the chest. He died two days later. Although the gendarmes and the doctors of the time concluded that it was a suicide, many still wonder if it was not a murder or an accident. In 2019, the revolver in question was sold for 162,500 euros, at an auction in Drouot.