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With his work featured in major NYC art museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA and the Guggenheim, Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890) is one of a handful of artists whose name is instantly recognizable by nearly everyone. The outline of his story is general well-known: Born into an upper-middle-class family in Holland, Van Gogh exhibited artistic tendencies from a tender age, but only took up painting in 1881 at age 28. Though he attended art schools in Antwerp and Paris, he was largely self-taught, yet he still managed to become one of the most important figures in Western art. And of course, he suffered from depression and psychotic episodes throughout his life, which led to the mutilation of his own ear, a stay at a mental asylum and eventually, suicide. In effect, Van Gogh wrote the book on artistic genius wracked by torment, cementing a mythology that surrounds him to this day. Yet ultimately what matters is his iconic body of work, which continues to astonish as you can see in our guide to all the Van Gogh paintings you should know about.
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