"What lives in art and is eternally living, is first of all the painter, and then the painting.
Expressionism is an art form in which the very style itself and the symbols that the artist uses are meant to express his innermost feelings on the subject. Vincent van Gogh has often been hailed as the quintessential expressionist painter. His artwork covers a range of moods over the years, and his canvases are almost mirrors into his troubled soul. .
Vincent van Gogh lived a troubled life. He once described his childhood as " cold, gloomy and sterile." He alienated himself from his parents and siblings by being a stubborn and reclusive child. He was clumsy, uncommunicative, and lived an early life of solitude, being misunderstood by his own family. The only sibling he had any sort of close relationship with was his brother, Theo. He would later be Vincent's biggest supporter, both moral and financial, during the formative years of his unsuccessful career in art. .
As the young Vincent grew up, he realized that art was his calling in life. He decided that he would paint and make a living off his sales. Ironically, though his paintings may sell for millions today van Gogh actually sold only one painting in his lifetime, and this, for the meager cost of 40 francs. .
Van Gogh's problems were numerous. First of all, he just didn't have the social skills to be happy in his personal life. He had a few disastrous relationships with women before sinking deep into solitude and depression. His paintings during his troubled romances and the ensuing heartbreaks are filled with darkness and pain, reflecting his inner sorrow. Secondly, while Vincent's paintings were indisputably brilliant, he simply didn't have the interpersonal skills to make any sales! The legend has it that he actually used to argue with buyers who praised them, trying to convince them forcefully that his work was not remarkably good! He was an extremely modest man, perhaps overly so.