van Gogh was born near the town of Brabant.
His father was a minister. In 1869, he became
an art dealer in The Hague, and he worked there
until he was dismissed from the art dealership's
London office in 1873. He then became aa schoolmaster
in England (1876), before taking theology to
become a ministry at Amsterdam University (1877).
He failed his entry into the Church, and became
an independent missionary among the Borinage
"He was largely self-taught as an artist, although
he received help from his cousin, Mauve. His
first works were heavily painted, mud-colored
and clumsy attempts to represent the life of
the poor (e.g. Potato-Eaters, 1885, Amsterdam),
influenced by one of his artistic heroes, Millet.
He moved to Paris in 1886, living with his devoted
brother, Theo, who as a dealer introduced him
to artists like Gauguin, Pissarro, Seurat and
Toulouse-Lautrec. In Paris, he discovered color
as well as the divisionist ideas which helped
to create the distinctive dashed brushstrokes
of his later work (e.g. Pere Tanguy, 1887, Paris).