The Death of Vincent Van Gogh — Tortured Artist Poster Boy
On this day in 1890, Vincent van Gogh died from a gunshot wound widely believed to be self-inflicted. Although he sold only one painting in his lifetime, van Gogh has since emerged as one of the most important figures of modern art, thanks largely to his sister-in-law, Johanna, who exhibited his work after his death.
Johanna also published van Gogh’s personal letters to his older brother, Theo — a collection of reflective, intelligent, highly introspective missives that documented his plunge into mental illness. First published in 1914, the letters solidified Vincent van Gogh’s lifelong personal anguish as the template for that of the modern tortured artist.