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The Unsung Genius Of Vincent Van Gogh

(4 min read) When we talk about Vincent van Gogh, the iconic 20th Century painter, we often fail to recognize the pivotal contributions made by his opulent and generously textured visuals. Contemporary art has been radically morphed by an artist that is often reduced to a “tortured soul”. Although he only sold one painting while alive, his work has gone on to contribute to the likes of Fauvism and Abstract Expressionism. His works continue to touch the hearts and captivate the eyes of millions, while being featured in galleries, on clothes, accessories and home accents worldwide.

So, what was behind the man who painted the Sunflowers? 

The Gorgeous sunflower artwork by Vincent van Gogh. There were many in this series, many of which, when examined under an X-ray show van Gogh’s process of incessantly repainting over mistakes until he achieved perfection.
The Gorgeous sunflowers, there were many in this series, many of which, when examined under an X-ray show van Gogh’s process of incessantly repainting over mistakes until he achieved perfection.
A handmade mosaic artwork reproduction of Van Gogh’s Flowers in a vase by Mosaics Lab
Handmade mosaic reproduction of Van Gogh’s Flowers in a vase by Mosaics Lab.

It is undeniable that mental illness played a huge part in not only the self-destructive spirals of the Austrian artist but in the artworks that he produced. Rich greens, yellows, and thick, impulsive brushstrokes combine in a swirling frenzy, shedding light upon the headspace of Van Gogh. His letters to his dear brother; Theo (who funded a lot of Van Gogh’s paintings) give us further insight into his emotional turbulence, and also onto his keen eye for sentiment, poetry and the beauty all around us. He spoke with gratitude and love and unfiltered honesty, which mirrors directly into his raw and provoking works – As he famously remarked; “real painters do not paint things as they are… they paint them as they themselves feel them to be.”

Van Gogh’s moody self-portraits depict an undeniably thoughtful and earnest man, surrounded by beautiful swirls, perhaps representing his noisy mind.
Van Gogh’s moody self-portraits depict an undeniably thoughtful and earnest man, surrounded by beautiful swirls, perhaps representing his noisy mind. 
Van Gogh’s Irises (1889). Mosaic design reproduction by Mosaics Lab
Van Gogh’s Irises (1889). Mosaic Artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab.

Considered by many to be his first masterpiece; Potato Eaters was painted in 1885 in Nuenen, Netherlands. Van Gogh found himself captivated by the hardworking laborers, haggard faces and knowing eyes of the humble folk. He studied the working class avidly throughout his life, which complimented his rough and expressionist technique. The heavy-browed family shares a simple meal of potatoes, their eyes gazing wearily yet hopefully under humble bonnets and hats. Van Gogh’s kinship with the working class is arguably what has made him so popular today; he did not surround himself with finery and fancy but sunk his creative appetite right into the heart of relatability, diversity, and authentic truth. 

The Potato Eaters artwork by Vincent van Gogh.
The Potato Eaters, 1885, Vincent van Gogh.
Almond Blossom, 1890, Vincent van Gogh. Hand-crafted Mosaic Artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab
Almond Blossom, 1890, Vincent van Gogh. Mosaic Artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab.

Van Gogh didn’t only focus on portraits of people, but captivated scenery and still with a gorgeously deep uniqueness. The Starry Night, painted in June 1889, is Van Gogh’s most famous painting, featuring a myriad of swirling cloud and sky merging with incandescent stars that appear to pulsate with the heartbeat of the night. Rich cobalt’s and azures greet the viewer in elegant yet hearty brushstrokes, appearing almost like a mosaic pattern as they merge with the dark, towering cityscape below.

The infamous Starry night, that has inspired many home accents, tattoos, clothing, and even cakes!
The infamous Starry night, that has inspired many home accents, tattoos, clothing, and even cakes!

It has been argued that Van Gogh’s mental health struggles may have contributed to his emotive imagery, perhaps the heavy swirls were akin to his own hallucinations, or perhaps his keen, albeit troublesome imagination allowed such beauty to be perceived, beauty so unlike where artists had ventured before. 

A gorgeous mosaic design inspired by Starry night.
A gorgeous mosaic design inspired by Starry night.
A modern work in progress mosaic artwork inspired by Starry night. Handmade mosaic artwork by Mosaics Lab.
A modern WIP mosaic artwork inspired by Starry night. Handmade mosaic artwork by Mosaics Lab.

Van Gogh has offered society a wonderfully unique form of beauty, treading bravely into new ways of thinking about art and design. His turbulent mental health, unique outlook on life and burning passion for love and emotion enabled him to see the world through an incomparable set of eyes that are still considered two of the most profound today. 

Cafe Terrace at Night mosaic artwork design reproduction by Mosaics Lab.
Cafe Terrace at Night mosaic artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab.
The Harvest mosaic artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab.
The Harvest mosaic artwork reproduction by Mosaics Lab.


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Kate S.

Kate S.

103 Comments

  1. Jenny MacKenzie
    May 22, 2019 at 11:23 am — Reply

    I cannot believe he only sold one painting while he was alive. H was such a master. Also really loving the mosaics made from his painting. They are truly marvelous

    • May 22, 2019 at 7:07 pm — Reply

      Thank you so much Jenny for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

  2. Jasemine Denise
    May 22, 2019 at 11:55 am — Reply

    Van Gogh has always been an amazing artist! Like all the incredible colors added in with the symbolism. I have always been intensely inspired!

  3. Cristina Petrini
    May 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm — Reply

    I studied Van Gogh closely at school from his periods, to the color painting technique … every painting is a story!

  4. Amber Myers
    May 22, 2019 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    I’ve always loved his paintings. He uses the best colors. He certainly had talent.

  5. Tara Pittman
    May 22, 2019 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    I do love these works of art. Vincent Van Gogh had such great talent in mosaic.

  6. Sondra Barker
    May 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    Really interesting to know the background on Van Gogh and what drove his paintings! Very beautiful

  7. May 22, 2019 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    I really love his paintings, I had no idea he suffered from mental illness though. This was a very interesting post.

  8. Crystal Genes
    May 22, 2019 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    I love how richly colored these Van Gogh inspired mosaic works are… very beautiful. I also can not believe he only sold one painting while he was alive, it’s interesting to think about that for a while… So many questions!!

    • May 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm — Reply

      I know right! I am not sure if you know but one of his paintings was used patch a hole in the chicken-coop! Now it is worth millions.

  9. Wander Women Abroad
    May 22, 2019 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    I love his work! His painting transport me to another wolrd when I really look at them. He is truly a creative genius

  10. Kenzie
    May 22, 2019 at 5:18 pm — Reply

    A great post about an amazing artist! Love the thought that went into this post

  11. Nyxie
    May 22, 2019 at 5:47 pm — Reply

    I love Vincent Van Gough, and my love was made even greater after watching a few documentaries about him.

    He was truly a genius.

    – Nyxie

  12. thesummerwinediary
    May 22, 2019 at 5:58 pm — Reply

    It’s so sad that such talent failed to be recognized and appreciated during his lifetime. I truly believe that his state of mind played a major factor in the way he painted

    • May 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm — Reply

      I am sure it did! Such a genius for real.

  13. Krysten
    May 22, 2019 at 8:32 pm — Reply

    I’m not a fan of all of his work but some of it is just beautiful. These mosaics are really great!

  14. kumamonjeng
    May 22, 2019 at 8:34 pm — Reply

    We love Van Gogh artwork and what a brilliant way in mosaic.
    We actually have the Cafe Terrace at Night in our home.

  15. Boho
    May 23, 2019 at 1:51 am — Reply

    I’ve always been a fan of Van Gogh’s work. I remember painting Starry Night in my 2nd-grade art class. I hate stigmas that come with mental illness. We all have something going on. It makes us who we are, and gives us the ability to help others if we find the strength to do so. He certainly did and rewarded us with these beautiful pieces that we can get lost in.

    • May 23, 2019 at 8:33 am — Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment! I can’t agree more, mental illness or any illness really is part of who we are and one should never be defined by it! I can’t believe you painted Starry Night, this is amazing!

  16. Dalene Ekirapa
    May 23, 2019 at 8:41 am — Reply

    Such artwork! I don’t know about Vaan Gogh but I love how deep his illustrations are! If that amazing piece of mosaic art was hung on my wall in the living room, I’d feel super awesome!

  17. Lyosha
    May 23, 2019 at 8:43 am — Reply

    I have always loved Van Gogh beautiful flower artworks. His style is grand and perfectly easy to tell apart. I am not big on paintings and galleries but I do appreciate what I feel when I see his works.

  18. Sarah
    May 23, 2019 at 9:04 am — Reply

    I think Van Gogh was one of the greatest painters in history! This was super interesting to read!

    • May 23, 2019 at 12:27 pm — Reply

      I can’t agree more, Van Gogh has always been one of my fave artists.

  19. Katie Walsh Beck
    May 23, 2019 at 9:07 am — Reply

    One of my favorite things about Van Gogh works is his use of blue – he always uses blue in a striking way! His had an incredible eye for detail too, the mosaics look legit like small marble mosaics that I love from the Romans.
    He has long been one of my faves!

    • May 23, 2019 at 12:29 pm — Reply

      Thanks a lot Katie for your comment. Yes I agree, how he captured the celestial currents in Starry Nights is just unbelievable.

  20. Le
    May 23, 2019 at 10:21 am — Reply

    Wow, I didn’t know he suffered from mental illness. Thanks for sharing this!

  21. Kathy Kenny Ngo
    May 23, 2019 at 10:36 am — Reply

    Van Gogh is a genius. His mind is too complex to be understood but at least we have his artworks to remember him by.

  22. Kalyan Panja
    May 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    I love reading art experiences. This one sounds interesting.

  23. Steph Social
    May 23, 2019 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    Beautiful Van Gogh inspired mosaic pieces. And interesting to read some of the history of the artist himself!

  24. Arun Dahiya
    May 23, 2019 at 2:07 pm — Reply

    I love his work. He was suspected to have bpd, I struggle with this too. Recently watched a movie made on his life too. His work is so amazing.

  25. Stacie
    May 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists of all time. He had such a way about his paintings. You can really feel his pain.

  26. Jessica may
    May 23, 2019 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    I live all the works of Van Gough. It’s especially a treat to teach about him in a classroom!

  27. sondra Bar
    May 23, 2019 at 4:57 pm — Reply

    I’ve always been such a fan of his work. Thank you for sharing such valuable information with us.

  28. Dana Brillante-Peller
    May 23, 2019 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    The Van Gogh vase portrait looks stunning in the mosaic version. I love the simplicity of it.

  29. Myles
    May 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm — Reply

    Thanks for writing this. Did not know almost any of this. He sounds like an interesting artist.

  30. LuciWest
    May 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm — Reply

    Great short overview of Van Gogh’s art and some of his techniques. And I’m very impressed by the creative re-interpretation of his work in mosaic form. Very cool!
    xx Luci
    Happier.Place

  31. Mavs Escala
    May 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    These are all pretty. I love seeing art, they are wonderful.

  32. Kiwi
    May 23, 2019 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    One of the greatest artist with a legacy. I always loved Starry Nights.

  33. Kim Seghers
    May 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh was such a gifted artist. Sad that he suffered the way he did. He’s work lives on through. It was so colorful and beautiful he was way ahead of his time!

  34. Tomislav
    May 23, 2019 at 11:38 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh paintings are truly amazing. He was a cool guy. I never drink an absinthe without thinking of him.

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:18 am — Reply

      Never done Absinthe but now i am under pressure to try it just in memory of Van Gogh lol

  35. Haroon Ejaz
    May 23, 2019 at 11:44 pm — Reply

    Art looks amazing! Very nicely written article! Bravo!

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:16 am — Reply

      Thanks a lot Haroon for your feedback, really appreciate it.

  36. Sam
    May 24, 2019 at 12:48 am — Reply

    This is a great post highlighting so much about Van Gogh. The mosaics of his artwork are so beautiful. His artwork is beautiful in all forms.

  37. Jessa B
    May 24, 2019 at 2:04 am — Reply

    i love all of his awe inspiring portraits and mosaics! God bless Van Gogh!

  38. Kara
    May 24, 2019 at 3:06 am — Reply

    I would love to see his work in person, he was such a talented artist

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:16 am — Reply

      If you get a chance, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has an amazing collection of his work.

  39. twinspirationalparties
    May 24, 2019 at 4:11 am — Reply

    I can’t believe that fact that he only sold a single painting, such a great read.. 😊

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:21 am — Reply

      I knowwww, really shocking! I am not sure if you know but one of his paintings was used to patch a hole in the chicken-coop! Crazy!!!

  40. Dollie Solanki
    May 24, 2019 at 4:24 am — Reply

    That was an informative post. My favourite Van Gogh is The Starry Night.

  41. Yeah Lifestyle
    May 24, 2019 at 6:23 am — Reply

    Totally love Van Gogh, he is my favourite artist of all time as his pieces speak to me, so it was lovely to see it as a mosaic artwork

  42. Stephanie Parrell
    May 24, 2019 at 7:27 am — Reply

    I was lucky enough to visit the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. As an artist, his story is so sad and beautiful and that always comes across in his artwork.

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:15 am — Reply

      Yeah me too! Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is amazing, can’t wait to go there again.

  43. Anagha
    May 24, 2019 at 8:04 am — Reply

    Who don’t know Van Gogh ? He was an amazing painter and I like seeing his paintings often. These are great pieces.

  44. lau
    May 24, 2019 at 8:24 am — Reply

    interesting details about mental health and his thoughts on painting. i always liked the paris ones, and the landscapes 😀

  45. Heather
    May 24, 2019 at 9:02 am — Reply

    I’ve always loved Van Gogh but didn’t know much about his mosaic art.

    • May 24, 2019 at 9:13 am — Reply

      Hey Heather, Van Gogh never did mosaic art, these are reproductions of his famous paintings that were crafted by Mosaics Lab. Cool stuff right?

  46. Paula Stewart
    May 24, 2019 at 9:26 am — Reply

    Hooray for this insightful post, we sometimes forget about the pioneers of masterful abstract like Van Gogh a true master of perception.

  47. Joyce
    May 24, 2019 at 10:14 am — Reply

    Wow, his masterpiece is really good. Thanks for explaining the paintings and the story behind each. I feel like I went to an art exhibit. I’ve heard about him but I’ve not seen his creations thank you for putting this up.

  48. Ne U.
    May 24, 2019 at 10:15 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your photos. Glad that they’re doing these reproductions for everyone to see and learn more about Van Gogh’s artworks.

  49. Net U.
    May 24, 2019 at 10:16 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your photos. Glad that they’re doing these reproductions for everyone to see and learn more about Van Gogh’s artworks..

  50. Krista
    May 24, 2019 at 10:35 am — Reply

    Van Gogh has always been one of my favorites. I particularly love his self portrait and how he captured himself through his eyes. So beautiful.

  51. Danielle
    May 24, 2019 at 10:51 am — Reply

    All of these paintings are so beautiful. I love all of his artwork

  52. Lisa
    May 24, 2019 at 1:56 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh was a true legend, who like many on his level, were never recognised when they were alive. I love the mosaic reproductions, they’re so detailed!

  53. David Elliott
    May 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh truly was amazing. He did so many classic works of art. And he did see the world so intensely. Whereas he suffered from mental illness I’m sure that contributed to the intensity of his work. Starry Night still amazes.

  54. Amanda Rosson
    May 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    I’ve always found him to be such a fascinating painter and individual. So sad his work was never appreciated until after his death. Love your Mosaic Lab reproductions of his work!

    • May 25, 2019 at 11:46 am — Reply

      Thank you so much Amanda for your feedback, really appreciate it.

  55. Natalia
    May 24, 2019 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    His works of art are definitely masterpieces! They are eye catching and attract the viewer’s attention well. The Starry night is my favourite one! 🙂

  56. Wren
    May 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm — Reply

    I studied art in my younger years. I always wanted to be an artist. Van Gogh was one of my idles and still is to this day. I loved learning about his life and all he brought to the art world.

  57. Paula Stewart
    May 24, 2019 at 6:39 pm — Reply

    I always felt the chaos when I looked at one of his paintings. Like the image what trying to escape the canvas. Now I understand why now that I know more about him.

  58. Alexandra Cook
    May 24, 2019 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    His art has always been something to marvel at. Following his lines just takes you away.

  59. Jackline A
    May 24, 2019 at 9:30 pm — Reply

    I find Vincent Van Gogh so interesting. I saw a documentary about him a couple years ago that blew my mind. Such an interesting life story.

    • May 25, 2019 at 11:46 am — Reply

      I think i saw that same documentary, he is just amazing.

  60. Jennifer Tanney
    May 24, 2019 at 10:54 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh’s art is so colorful. I love the mosaics from his floral art. He painted so much beauty.

  61. Anna
    May 24, 2019 at 11:19 pm — Reply

    These painting are so beautiful. I would definitely want this in my house. Very creative.

  62. D'ondra M Howard
    May 25, 2019 at 12:17 am — Reply

    Van Gogh had some awesome paintings. His artwork is beautiful.

  63. Madhurima Maiti
    May 25, 2019 at 1:59 am — Reply

    Every painting of Van Gogh is a story. I used to follow and study his paintings. The mosaic reproductions are great!

  64. Kisha Stewart-Harris
    May 25, 2019 at 2:54 am — Reply

    I’m always amazed at how many creative geniuses are categorized as having some sort of mental illness. It often leads me to wonder if that is in fact why they were able to be so extraordinary in their field. It’s no doubt that Van Gough was amazingly talented, but it might have just been because of they way his mind works, as opposed to it limiting him.

    • May 25, 2019 at 11:41 am — Reply

      Yes Kisha i agree! I can’t only limit and attribute his genius to his mental illness, he was super talented. I love his work.

  65. Catherine Santiago Jose
    May 25, 2019 at 6:50 am — Reply

    Van Gogh is such a great artist. It is good to know that his beautiful work of arts are still know until this time.

  66. Enriqueta E Lemoine
    May 25, 2019 at 11:03 am — Reply

    I have to thank you for introducing me to these amazing reproductions of Van Gogh’s art work using the mosaic technique! They are awesome. I’m a Van Gogh fan, lucky enough to appreciate tons of his work at the VVG museum in Amsterdam. Great post, as usual!

    • May 25, 2019 at 11:38 am — Reply

      Thank you so much Enriqueta for your amazing feedback. I remember how amazing it was seeing Van Gogh’s work at the VVG museum in Amserdam, can’t wait to go there again.

  67. Cindy Ingalls
    May 25, 2019 at 11:25 am — Reply

    I visited the Van Gogh museum when I was in Amsterdam. His work is truly timeless. You can see his genius mixed with his madness is so many of his pieces.

    • May 25, 2019 at 11:35 am — Reply

      I’ve been to his museum in Amsterdam, it was such an amazing experience.

  68. Candace Hampton
    May 25, 2019 at 11:44 am — Reply

    Such a talented artist. I’ve always found his story fascinating. I really love his art, you can tell a lot of the artist, by just looking to his creation. Wonderful pieces of art!

    Candace Hampton

  69. Melissa Cushing
    May 25, 2019 at 11:58 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for this fabulous post. Van Gogh’s work is and always has been amazing and I am loving a few above that I have not seen before…. very nice. His work is so different and a few have been my favorites for years.

  70. Susan Quackenbush
    May 25, 2019 at 3:28 pm — Reply

    Have you heard Don McLean – Vincent ( Starry, Starry Night) With Lyrics – YouTube? That song is so dear to me.

    • May 26, 2019 at 9:13 am — Reply

      Yes i know it, it is a beautiful song.

  71. Stacie C.
    May 25, 2019 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    My high school boyfriend’s mother was obsessed with Van Gogh so I learned a ton in the few years we were dating. He was so talented.

  72. aisasami
    May 26, 2019 at 10:12 am — Reply

    Van Gogh is one of the most recognized artists in this century as his paintings are so important. I didn’t know about Van Gogh’s mental illness and his emotional battles. Thanks for letting me know!

  73. Candy Rachelle
    May 26, 2019 at 11:46 am — Reply

    Those are some awesome and impressive work of art. My mom really loves the painting of Van Gogh.

  74. Owen G.
    May 26, 2019 at 11:48 am — Reply

    His works are all so great, such a great read. I loved reading about inspiring life story blogs.

  75. Ewuzie Kingsley
    May 26, 2019 at 4:15 pm — Reply

    Van Gogh, Is a true icon, his indeed a Great Man to Inspire a generation of painters I love His blend of colours and how he uses his paintings to reflect the image of life.

  76. Jeannette
    May 27, 2019 at 6:46 am — Reply

    Van Gogh is absolutely a genius. I have been teaching about him in homeschool and my kids love his work. It never gets old.

  77. Binge on Basics
    May 27, 2019 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    I am so much inspired by the works of Vincent Van Gogh. He was truly a very talented artist.

  78. Sarah
    May 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings are some of my favorite, and one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who is about him! Your mosaic replicas are beautiful!

    • May 27, 2019 at 2:38 pm — Reply

      Thanks a lot Sarah, glad you liked the mosaics.

  79. natalie
    May 27, 2019 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    Such a great and informative post, his painting are just stunning! Such a talented artist.

  80. Rosemarie Gonzales
    May 27, 2019 at 8:08 pm — Reply

    All the paint is so beautiful simple but artistic and touching. The paint was so colorful I love the colors 😍.

  81. Mayuri Patel
    May 28, 2019 at 8:49 am — Reply

    Reading your post has certainly taught me a bit about the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh. Love the mosaic work, its simply stunning and very beautiful. I love the starry night mosaic.

  82. The Frugal Samurai
    June 20, 2019 at 3:42 am — Reply

    MrsFrugalSamurai and I are heading to Amsterdam in the next few months, the Van Gogh museum is top of the list of places to see!

    • June 20, 2019 at 8:45 am — Reply

      If you haven’t been before, Mr. and Mrs. Frugal Samurai are gonna have the time of their lives.

  83. Norma
    June 27, 2019 at 11:11 pm — Reply

    Gorgeous mosaics. Van Gogh’s unique outlook on life allowed him to see the world through an incomparable set of eyes.

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