"What am I before the eyes of others? A useless, an eccentric, a person disagreeable; Suppose that happen, I would then show through my work, Inside the heart of this extravagant, My not be "nobody" - Vincent Van Gogh, dutch painter.
His life and work are legendary in the history of 19th- and 20th-century art. In the popular view, Van Gogh has become the prototype of the misunderstood, tormented artist, who sold only one work in his lifetime - but whose Irises achieved a record auction sale price of £49 million. Romantic clichés suggest that van Gogh paid with insanity for his genius, which was understood only by his supportive brother Theo (1857-91). Van Gogh was active as an artist for only ten years, during which time he produced some 1000 watercolours, drawings and sketches and about 1250 paintings ranging from a dark, Realist style to an intense, expressionistic one. Almost more than on his oeuvre, his fame has been based on the extensive, diary-like correspondence he maintained, in particular with his brother.