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Van Gogh Museum at 50: what painter's letters to his family expose about why he became an artist

By Will Atkinson, Professor in School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol
Vincent van Gogh fits the stereotypical image of the tragic modern artist: the tortured genius and scruffy bohemian battling mental ill-health and lack of recognition from peers and a public who couldn’t appreciate his audacious vision.

Now, of course, he is one of the world’s most famous artists, but it was only after his early death that his profound influence on Western art – laying the groundwork for the transition from impressionism to expressionism and beyond – became apparent and his artworks started to sell for millions.

As the Van…The Conversation

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