Interesting Snippets about Vincent van Gogh:
- Vincent was a poor man living on the charity of his brother, Theo, and the generosity of his paint supplier. Because he could not often afford to pay models to sit for him he painted over 30 self portraits – to sell, and to develop his skill.
- Vincent wrote over 800 letters to his family. He wrote about all aspects of his life; his art, his health, his feelings. You can read his preserved letters by topic at Van Gogh’s Letters.
- In his early life, he was a preacher in Belgium. He was dismissed from his post for trying to live among the poor miners as they did (which were poor conditions indeed!), and his actions were considered far below the dignity of a minister.
- He had lots of nightmares.
- Starry Nights, his most famous painting, was created while he was in hospital.
- He created over 2000 art works, but only sold one in his lifetime.
- He died violently, at the age of 37.
Teaching resources can be found at the National Gallery of Art website, for different age students.
The Van Gogh Museum website has colouring pages to print, and instructions for making your own diorama.
Enchanted Learning has a printable “Starry Nights” colouring page.
A project to try while enjoying “Starry Nights” with your children, is to give each a large piece of black construction paper (thin card) and a bucket of colourful chalks, and have them draw their own “Starry Nights”, or copy Vincent’s. You will need to give it a light spray with a sealer, or aerosol hairspray to set the chalk and prevent it from smudging.
For the wee folk, there is a page of lesson plan ideas on Vincent’s sunflower paintings.
You might like to try creating a shadow box bedroom after viewing “The Bedroom”.
I hope you enjoy exploring the life and work of Vincent van Gogh!