Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890) is considered to be one of the most popular and influential artists who has ever lived. His post-impressionist style, bright colours and bold images are familiar from paintings such as Sunflowers (1888) and Irises (1889).
Despite his talent, during his lifetime he sold only one of his paintings, Today, his works fetch high prices and are displayed in museums around the world.
Teach your children about Vincent van Gogh using our handy topic guide!
- Create your own version of The Starry Night.
- Look closely at one of Van Gogh’s works and make a list of vocabulary that you could use to describe it.
- Write a story where one of Van Gogh’s pictures is important in the plot.
- Paint or draw your own self-portrait, in the style of Van Gogh.
- Create a timeline of events in Van Gogh’s life.
- Sketch a vase of flowers from real life. Look closely at them, what shapes can you see? What colours?
- Download our Van Gogh Pack, which contains lots of useful resources, including a biography.
Vincent van Gogh Facts
- Van Gogh did not start painting until he was 27. In the following ten years, he produced nearly 900 paintings.
- Van Gogh painted his own self portrait over thirty times.
- It is believed that van Gogh only sold one painting of his own during his lifetime; Red Vineyard at Arles.
- Van Gogh did not have the money to pay for professional models, so he painted subjects such as flowers, landscapes and himself instead.
- The colours in van Gogh’s paintings have become less vibrant since he painted them. Like many painters of the time, he used a pigment called chrome yellow which fades and changes as time passes.
This beautiful animation brings the painting to life.
Running time: 4:10
Who was Vincent van Gogh?
This biography from the Van Gogh museum is a great overview of his life.
Running time: 4:20
How to paint Vincent Van Gogh´s Sunflowers
This step-by-step tutorial shows how to create your own sunflower picture, in the style of Van Gogh.
Running time: 9:50
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!