Vincent moved to
Theo introduced Vincent to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cèzanne, Henri Rousseau, Camille Pissarro, and Georges Seurat. Inspired by the brighter colors of their paintings, Vincent finally embraced and explored them with vigor.
In October, Paul Gauguin joined him in
In only two months, the relationships between the two painters badly deteriorated. Vincent confronted Paul with a straight razor but then fled without doing any harm. Later that night, however, Vincent used the razor to cut off his own left ear. He wrapped the ear in newspaper and gave it to a prostitute for safekeeping. He then staggered home where he was found unconscious and taken to the hospital. A few days later, Paul—refusing Vincent’s repeated requests for a visit—left for
In May 1889 Vincent entered Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, about 12.5 miles (20 km) south of
Vincent continued to develop creatively and a portrait of the doctor painted during this time is among his best. All to no purpose: on July 27 he was shot in the chest. Whether he shot himself or was shot by someone else is disputed. Strangely enough, the bullet did not hit any arteries or internal organs. After being shot, Vincent walked back to his room, was seen by Gachet, and then was left to enjoy smoking his pipe. When notified of Vincent's condition, Theo rushed to his side. Hours later, Vincent started ailing from an infection caused by the shot and died of it early in the morning of July 29. He was buried in the local cemetery.
Vincent was an artist for only ten years. Even so, he created over 2,100 works of art including 860 oil paintings. He created his most famous works, including The Starry Night, during the last two amazingly creative years of his life.
At the same time, Vincent’s sole source of emotional and financial support during his life as an artist was his younger brother Theo. Otherwise he felt socially isolated and personally despised. Vincent also believed he was a professional failure. His artistic colleagues did not appreciate his works. Only one of his paintings sold during his lifetime. Only years after his death did widespread appreciation of his work grow. Ironically, his Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for $82.5 million dollars in 1990—exactly 100 years after he painted it but received nothing for it.
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