Why Famous: Considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt.
Van Gogh was a largely self-taught artist who remained poor and unknown throughout his life. Today, his paintings are some of the most expensive in the world. Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for $82.5 million and "Irises" for $53.9 million.
He is known as much for his unstable psychological health, including famously cutting off his own ear, as he is for his huge body of post-Impressionist paintings (e.g. "Sunflowers" and "The Starry Night"), drawings, and sketches.
- 1888-12-23 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping
- 1890-07-27 Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh shoots himself in Auvers-sur-Oise, dies of injuries 2 days later
- 1901-03-17 At a show in Paris 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings cause a sensation, 11 years after his death
- 1987-03-30 Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" sells for a record 22.5 million pounds ($39.7 million)
- 1987-11-11 Van Gogh's "Irises" sells for record $53.6 million at auction
- 1990-05-15 "Portrait of Doctor Gachet" by Vincent Van Gogh sells for $82.5 million
- 1998-11-19 Vincent van Gogh's "Portrait of the Artist Without Beard" sells at auction for $71.5 million