Dutch painter. His life and work are legendary in the history of 19th- and 20th-century art. In the popular view, van Gogh has become the prototype of the misunderstood, tormented artist, who sold only one work in his lifetime—but whose Irises (sold New York, Sotheby’s) achieved a record auction sale price of £49 million. Romantic clichés suggest that van Gogh paid with insanity for his genius, which was understood only by his supportive brother Theo. Van Gogh was active as an artist for only ten years, during which time he produced some 1000 watercolours, drawings and sketches and about 1250 paintings ranging from a dark, Realist style to an intense, expressionistic one.
Irises, Saint-Remy, c.1889