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             From the beginning, Vincent van Gogh’s life was shadowed in doubt. He was born exactly one year to the day, March 30, 1853, that his parents had given birth to a still-born child. Torus van Gogh, a Protestant pastor, and his wife, Anna Cornelia Carbentus gave their son the same name as the first child for fear that he to would not survive.

           Born in a small village in Dutch Brabant called Groot Zundert that shares a border with Belgium, Vincent was a quiet and solitary child even though he had many siblings. His parents had five other children. Anna, Theodorus, Elizabeth, Wilhemina, and Cornelis followed Vincent, being born in the presbytery at Groot Zundert, but he preferred time alone to roam and explore the country side. Later he would keep regular correspondence with both Theo and Wilhemina.

           As for his education, Vincent learned to read, write, and count at the parish school of Groot Zundert. Then, on October 1, 1864, he was sent to a boarding school in Zevenbergen, but he was poor student. He was next sent to the Hannik Institute in Tilburg, but his

 

   

family’s financial situation had grown precarious so he returned home and finished his studies by the age of fifteen.

          At the age of sixteen, Vincent took a job as an art dealer with the help of his uncle and was a model employee. While working for Goupil & Cie, he started to visit the museums of The Hague. Then when he was transferred to London, Vincent began visiting more galleries and museums, expanding his knowledge of art.

          Eventually, Vincent’s performance at work began to deteriorate and he started to become obsessed with studying the bible. He resigned his position as an art dealer and had a few other jobs, but none that he interested him. Instead, he turned to pursuing his religious studies, which would not last either.

          The turning point in Vincent’s life came in 1880, when he exclusively devoted himself to painting. With no job and no money, Theo began to financially support Vincent. This situation would continue until the end of Vincent’s life.

 

 


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