Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853. Before becoming a painter he was a teacher. He started painting when he was twenty-seven. In 1886 he left Holland and joined his young brother Theo, who lived in Paris. Here he painted some of his most famous pictures. After living there for two years he moved to the South of France, because the climate was warmer there.
But Van Gogh was mentally ill. During one of his fits of madness he attacked his friend, the artist Paul Gaugin. In another fit of madness, he cut off part of his own ear. Eventually he went into a mental hospital but he didn't get any better. Finally, on Sunday 27th July 1890, in the small village Vincent Van Gogh took a gun. He went into a cornfield and shot himself. Thirty-six hours later Van Gogh died in his brother's arms. His last words were: "I hope I did it properly". Nobody has ever painted cornfields or sunflowers like Van Gogh. His paintings are full of colour and sunlight. Today his paintings are worth millions of pounds but in his lifetime he only sold one.