Vincent Van Gogh: Starving Artist

One of the most famous painters of all time, Vincent Van Gogh was the epitome of the starving artist. He lived an impoverished life with little success including only ever selling one painting.



Vincent Van Gogh was the epitome of the starving artist — a term used to describe an artist who sacrifices material well-being in order to focus on their artwork.


Van Gogh led a very difficult life. He is said to have suffered from poverty, depression, bipolar disorder, hallucinations and episodes of derangement as well as epilepsy. During one of these attacks, Van Gogh famously cut off his left earlobe. He committed suicide in 1890 at the young age of 37.


Van Gogh’s failures in love and life are well-known and well-documented. Only during the final years of his short life was Vincent a professional artist, and even then, a tortured one that was ridiculed by others. He was said to have no obvious artistic talent in his early years of life. Instead as the son of a pastor, he largely immersed himself in religion and had even decided to become a clergyman. However, he was not given a permanent position. He also attempted to be an art dealer.


His largest failure, however, was producing close to 900 paintings but constantly struggling in poverty and only selling one pain