First Steps after Millet Vincent van Gogh

, is generally considered to bethe greatest Dutch painter after , and, with and, the greatest of Post-Impressionistartists. Vincent van Gogh created and powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art,though he had little success during his lifetime. Van Gogh producedall of his 900+ paintings and 1100+ drawings during a period of only10 years before he succumbed to mental illness, possibly bipolardisorder, and committed suicide. The striking, bold, intense colors,the emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work are highlyexpressive, even emotional. Van Gogh used the symbolic andexpressive values of colors for expressing emotions rather than, asdid the Impressionists, for the reproduction of visual appearances,atmosphere, or light. The term Post-Impressionist does, however,acknowledge that had shaped thisartist.

An Old Woman of Arles Vincent van Gogh

Vase with Carnations and Bottle Vincent van Gogh

Quayside with Ships in Antwerp Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh's is an attempt to breathe life intothe peasants' untamed expressions within the setting of their ownhomes. Their baseness, their feral nature, was crucial to thepicture's meaning, which is what Van Gogh was trying to convey when hedescribed the canvas as a . 'But ifpeople prefer to see them with a sugar coating, let them. I personallybelieve that it is better in the long run to paint them vulgar as theyare than to give them a conventional charm'.

The Night Cafe Vincent van Gogh

These features - thick lips, protruding cheekbones and low, flatforeheads - can be seen in all Van Gogh's portraits of peasants, aswell as in the figures of . Their mouths andcheekbones are exaggerated. The woman on the right in the painting andthe man on the left with the flat brow and protruding ears, are littlemore than grotesque caricatures. Other striking features are thewide-open eyes of the two figures on the left, both of whom alsoappear in Van Gogh's individual portraits of country peasants. Theenormous eyes were presumably intended to convey 'the extremes of theanimal eye; they are incapable of expression except for the occasionallook of surprise, devoid of intelligence. It is impossible to readinganything else in them; such eyes never betray a single thought'.

The Drinkers after Daumier Vincent van Gogh
Portrait of a Young Peasant Vincent van Gogh

Chestnut Tree in Blossom Vincent van Gogh

Year 1889
Type Oil painting on canvas
Dimensions 71 cm × 93 cm (28 in × 36 5⁄8 in)
Location J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Handmade reproduction of this work can be ordered as oil painting in any sizes.

The painting was influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints like many of his works and those by other artists of the time. The similarities occur with strong outlines, unusual angles, including close-up views, and also flattish local colour (not modelled according to the fall of light).

Its first owner was the French art critic and anarchist Octave Mirbeau who was also one of Van Gogh's first supporters. Mirbeau paid 300 francs for it.

In 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold, setting a record which stood for two and a half years. Then it was sold for US$53.9 million to Alan Bond, but Bond did not have enough money to pay for it. Irises was later re-sold in 1990 to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Irises is currently (as of 2012) tenth on the inflation-adjusted list of most expensive paintings ever sold and in 25th place if the effects of inflation are ignored.

Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass with a Book Vincent van Gogh

Public Garden with Couple and Blue Fir Tree Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh's works are often inspired by literary references or bythe works of other painters (see his copies after Jean-FrancoisMillet). has a similar style and compositionalstructure to Avenue de Clichy in the Evening by Anquetin. Regardlessof whether Van Gogh was directly inspired by Anquetin's work, thecomposition of is unique among all of Van Gogh'sart. Note how the lines of composition all point directly to thecentre of the work where a horse and carriage are found. Everythingseems to be drawn inward, like a vortex, and yet the overall tonesuggests tranquillity and not turmoil. The overall scheme is dark, butwithout the slightest trace of black.

Public Park with Weeping Willow The Poet s Garden I Vincent van Gogh

Interior of a Restaurant in Arles Vincent van Gogh

The bright and bold use of colour in Vincent's is typical of the vibrant palette he began to use beginninglate in his Paris period. Yellow was Van Gogh's favourite colourthroughout his Arles and Saint-Remy period - whether outdoors inwheatfields under the Provencal sun or indoor works such as thebedroom.