Vincent van Gogh- rps #3

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Vincent van Gogh- RPS #3

Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 - July 29, 1890) is generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, though he had little success during his lifetime. Van Gogh produced all of his work (some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings) for little compensation, or money, during a period of only 10 years before he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and died in 1890.

Vincent was born in Zundert, The Netherlands; his father was a protestant minister, a profession that Vincent had admiration, or high respect for, and to which he would be drawn to a certain extent later in his life.

In 1880, Vincent van Gogh followed the suggestion of his brother Theo and took up painting in earnest, and in spring 1886 Vincent van Gogh went to Paris, where he moved in with his brother Theo; they shared a house on Montmartre. At this convention, or gathering, he met the painters met Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Bernard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin, who became his competition, or rivalry. He discovered impressionism, whose clear and simple description is the use of light and color, more than its lack of social engagement. He enjoyed this, especially the technique known as pointillism (where many small dots are applied to the canvas that blends into rich colors only in the eye of the beholder, seeing it from a distance) made its mark on Van Gogh’s own style.

In 1888, only Paul Gauguin, whose simplified colour schemes and forms attracted van Gogh, followed his invitation. The admiration was mutual, and Gauguin painted van Gogh painting sunflowers. However their encounter ended in a quarrel because of some unnamed corruption, or dishonesty. Van Gogh suffered a mental breakdown and cut off part of his left ear, which he gave to a startled friend. Needless to say, that friend was devastated and extremely upset when she received it. She tried to offer Van Gogh some consolation by spending time with him, and supporting him through his hard time.

The only painting he sold during his lifetime, The Red Vineyard, was created in 1888. It is now on display in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia. Vincent van Gogh's mother threw away quite a number of his paintings during Vincent's life and even after his death.  But she would live long enough to see her son become a world famous painter. Many people made the assumption that Van Gogh’s parents never supported his love of art, but that has never been proven.

Several paintings by Van Gogh rank among the most expensive paintings in the world. On March 30, 1987 Van Gogh's painting Irises was sold for a record $53.9 million at Sotheby’s, New York. On May 15, 1990 his Portrait of Doctor Gachet was sold for $82.5 million at Christie's, thus establishing a new price record (see also List of most expensive paintings). The conservation or preserving of these paintings is very important and costly.

Using your context clues, determine the meaning of this week’s RPS words, and write their definitions below:



Context Clues


The state of looking up to someone with great pleasure or approval.

High respect for


To take something for granted or to draw conclusions without enough information.

Made…but never been proven


Something that is given or received as a result of a service, loss, injury, death, etc.



The state of giving a clear image of an event or person through the use of words.

Clear, simple, light, color


A meeting or formal assembly to which people, usually in politics, get together to discuss ideas.



The act of preserving something, such as wildlife, human rights, etc.



To give support, relief, or assistance; to attempt to bring cheer.

Spending time with, supporting through hard time


The state of being dishonest and acting in an evil and untrusting way.



A rivalry between two or more people, businesses, etc.



The state of being upset or let down; to destroy or destruct.

Extremely upset

What background knowledge did you use to help you better understand this text? Answers will vary

What text structure is this passage? Chronological How do you know? There are dates, and a timeline of events

Is this a reliable source and how do you know? We would have no idea because there is no source given.

Summarize in one sentence what this text was about: This article is about the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his accomplishments.

Did the author of this article make an impact on you? Why or why not? Answers will vary
What is the author’s purpose? To inform

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