The iconic tortured artist, Vincent Van Gogh strove to convey his emotional and spiritual state in each of his artworks. Although he sold only one painting during his lifetime, Van Gogh is now one of the most popular artists of all time. His canvases with densely laden, visible brushstrokes rendered in a bright, opulent palette emphasize Van Gogh’s personal expression brought to life in paint. Each painting provides a direct sense of how the artist viewed each scene, interpreted through his eyes, mind, and heart. This radically idiosyncratic, emotionally evocative style has continued to affect artists and movements throughout the twentieth century and up to the present day, guaranteeing Van Gogh’s importance far into the future.
“Before ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ I had played a different version of kind of the same person in every movie,” he said. “It’s been a bit of a survival mechanism my whole life to kind of play the dummy, and get laughs, and goof around.” But seeing himself in that role broadened his sense of possibilities. “It was another element to myself,” he said, “that I just hadn’t seen.” [x]