Vincent Willem van Gogh is a classic example of the self-taught artist who, possessed of a unique talent and despite numerous setbacks, succeeded in securing a place in history. Although he drew passable landscapes and cityscapes in his youth, he did not become an artist until he was twenty-seven. It is remarkable, then, that in the ten years from 1880 to 1890 he was able to produce an impressive oeuvre, which by the time of his death included approximately nine hundred paintings and eleven hundred works on paper. In addition, he left some nine hundred letters filled with penetrating observations about his life and the role of art, artists, and literature. This correspondence is considered one of the most important of his era.
Stolwijk, Chris. "Vincent Van Gogh." Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire. Ed. John Merriman and Jay Winter. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 28 July 2014.
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