Did Van Gogh Paint From Landscapes Or Imagination?

Vincent van Gogh/Periods

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While Van Gogh said he didn’t see himself as a landscape painter, nature was often the subject of his work. It is true that he often incorporated figures in them, which distances them from traditional landscapes, but the overall effect is quite similar. Van Gogh’s landscapes were directly related to his thoughts about life and death.

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Vincent van Gogh painted over 30 self-portraits between the years 1886 and 1889, reflecting his ongoing pursuit of complementary color contrasts and a bolder composition. His collection of self-portraits places him among the most productive self-portraitists of all time.


Van Gogh was commercially unsuccessful during his lifetime, and he was considered a madman and a failure. As he only became famous after his suicide, he came to be seen as a misunderstood genius in the public imagination.

Vincent van Gogh
Known forPainting, drawing still life, portraits and landscapes

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Frequently Asked Questions

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A frequent point of contention was whether painting from nature or from imagination was best. Van Gogh appreciated painting reality and from nature while Gauguin, created many of his works based on his imagination or memory. Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers is an example of this artistic difference.

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Van Gogh’s landscapes were directly related to his thoughts about life and death. Like wheat fields, Van Gogh visited the subject of Cypress and Olive trees to show the cycles of life, and with the harvesting, death.

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Young Adulthood. Van Gogh left his job at the firm in 1876. … After relocating to the Netherlands, Van Gogh began taking art lessons from artist Anton Mauve. Inspired by Realism, he became a “peasant painter,” producing gritty depictions of life in the countryside.

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