Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh At 16 he worked in an art dealer's, then as a teacher, and became an evangelist at Le Borinage. In 1881 he went to Brussels to study art, and settled at The Hague, where he produced his early drawings and watercolors. At Nuenen he painted his first masterpiece, a domestic scene of peasant poverty, "The Potato Eaters". He studied in Paris where he developed his individual style of brushwork and a more colourful palette. At Arles, the landscape gave him many of his best subjects, such as "Sunflowers", "Tate" and "The Bridge". However, he showed increasing signs of mental disturbance (after a quarrel with Gauguin, he cut off part of his own ear), and was placed in an asylum at St Rémy. Generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt. His reputation is based largely on the works of the last three years of his short ten-year painting career, and he had a powerful influence on expressionism in modern art. He produced more than 800 oil paintings and 700 drawings, but he sold only one during his lifetime. His striking colors, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms display the anguish of the mental illness that drove him to suicide.