Vincent Van Gogh's Famous Paintings

Vincent Van Gogh's Famous Paintings 

The story behind Vincent Van Gogh's life is full of hardship and tragedy. Although we now know him as one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time, he remained poor and unknown throughout his life. It wasn't until his tragic death that he began to receive the recognition he deserved.

Known for his stunning use of color, Van Gogh most certainly followed the theme of emotion and beauty. Suffering with mental illness, this post-impressionist painter took his own life at the young age of 37. Of course, many know Van Gogh because he cut off his own ear, but his paintings show an entirely different side — a highly talented individual whose paintings continue to inspire artists around the globe.

Vincent Van Gogh's Famous Paintings

Over the course of his short life, Van Gogh completed more than 2,100 works. In total, he completed approximately 860 oil paintings, as well as more than 1,300 watercolors, sketches, and drawings. His mother lived long enough to see the legacy of her son unfold and today, his paintings continue to rank among the most expensive pieces in the world.

Here are a few of his masterpieces —


(Painted in 1889 — oil on canvas)

  Irises by Van Gogh

Irises is an incredibly famous piece, painted during Van Gogh's stay at an asylum. After several hospitalizations and incidences of self-mutation, he committed himself. He painted around 130 paintings during his stay, as the surrounding gardens and clinic became his subjects. 

Influenced by Japanese works, he began this painting within the first week of his stay. The use of black contours in the flowers were a key element of Japanese woodblock prints. Although Van Gogh may not have viewed this painting as a masterpiece, it sold in 1987 for a total of $54 million.

The Starry Night

(Painted in 1889 — oil on canvas)

  The Starry Night by Van Gogh

One of the most well known images within modern culture, The Starry Night is one of the most sought after prints. The stars and swirling clouds are what make this painting so memorable, lighting up the small town below. The use of curved lines and a thoughtful color palette both provide depth and interest. Every aspect of this painting has led to its popularity. Like Irises, this piece was created during Van Gogh's stay at the asylum.

The Potato Eaters

(Painted in 1885 — oil on canvas)

The Potato Eaters by Van Vogh

Unlike the above paintings which were created in France, The Potato Eaters was painted in The Netherlands. Considered to be one of Van Gogh's first great works of art, it differs from later works, in that he had not yet developed and mastered the techniques which are apparent in later works. With that being said, it makes this piece interesting and unique. Although it was not successful in his lifetime, it is now considered his first masterpiece, just as he intended it to be.

Unfortunately, Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime — The Red Vineyard. Sold in Brussels, he received 400 francs for his work. Today, he is considered to be one of the most famous artists of all time. Considering the majority of his most well known works were created within the last two years of his life, who knows what he would have created if he lived to see 40, 50, or even 80 years old.