Famous Vincent Van Gogh Paintings

15 Most Famous Paintings by Vincent van Gogh

These are the 15 Most Famous Paintings by Vincent van Gogh

A Dutch post-impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, was born in the Netherlands and lived from 1853 to 1890. His work had a significant influence on modern art. Although he was not considered to have been famous during his lifetime, he is today considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time. Vincent van Gogh is known for his vibrant colors, forceful brushwork, and curved figures, as well as the turbulence in his personal life.

Irises (1889)

This is a painting of a garden at the institution at Saint-Remy, where Van Gogh took sanctuary after his breakdown in Arles. The use of black outlines in the flowers of the painting demonstrates the importance of Japanese wood blocking. It is now one of the most expensive paintings, demonstrating Van Gogh’s ability to use his surroundings to create vibrant paintings. The painting was purchased by the Getty Museum in 1987 for a then-record price for a painting, $53.9 million dollars.

  • Location: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
  • Type: Post Impressionism, Still life
  • Size: 71 cm × 93 cm (28 inches × 36 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1889

Café Terrace at Night (1888)

This is a painting of a starry night, with deep blues and dazzling stars. This was the first of a number of paintings in which he used starry backgrounds that needed the presence of a night sky. Van Gogh’s growing interest in religion inspired him to gaze at the stars. Religion appeared to fill the void left by the absence of love.

  • Location: Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
  • Type: Post Impressionism, Genre-painting
  • Size: 80.7 cm × 65.3 cm (31.8 inches × 25.7 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1888

Almond Blossoms (1890)

This is a painting of Van Gogh residing in Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, a mental institution in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. This is one of the famous paintings by Vincent van which he created with a specific person in mind, in this case, his brother and sister-in-law’s infant. Blossoming Almond Tree, also known as Almond Tree, is a painting that captures a lot of what he was thinking about, which is rebirth.

  • Location: Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Type: Post Impressionism, Still life
  • Size: 73.5 cm × 92 cm (28.9 inches × 36 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1890

Starry Night Over the Rhône (1888)

This is a painting of the scene Van Gogh had outside of his hospital room window at night in the mental institution in Saint-Remy, France, although it was painted in the morning. It highlights how important it was for him to capture the glistening colors of the night sky as well as the artificial lights. It was created at a point in his life when he thought he needed religious instruction.

  • Location: Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
  • Type: Post Impressionism, cityscape, landscape
  • Size: 72.5 cm × 92 cm (28.5 inches × 36.2 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1888

The Night Café (1888)

This is a painting of the inside of a pool in Place Lamartine in Arles, Southern France.

It was painted to show minimal humanity, without adornment, as impactfully and honestly as possible. ‘The Night Café’ is one of Vincent’s most dramatic depictions of the human experience and feelings through art. His contemporary Paul Gauguin also painted a similar version, titled The Night Cafe, Arles.

  • Location: Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Type: Post Impressionism, genre painting
  • Size: 72.4 cm × 92.1 cm (28.5 inches × 36.3 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1888

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889)

This portrait is one of the most famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh. This painting is of a fur cap worn by Van Gogh, which is a reminder of the difficult working circumstances he endured in January 1889. The hat was a recent purchase to keep his bandage in place and keep him warm over the winter. This demonstrates his creative as well as personal ability. This self-portrait shows Van Gogh’s drive to keep painting. We can see the famous Japanese print ‘Geishas in a Landscape’ from the 1870s in the background of the picture.

  • Location: The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, United Kingdom
  • Type: Post Impressionism, self-portrait
  • Size: 60 cm × 49 cm (24 inches × 19 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1889

The Olive Trees (1889)

This is a painting of green olive trees twisting and twirling as though reflecting the ground’s radiating heat, on a hot day in southern France. To illustrate the trees, he used swirling brush strokes and a blue and green palette. Van Gogh felt comfort and relaxation in associating with nature; this painting has a unique meaning for him.

  • Location: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, United States of America
  • Type: Post Impressionism, landscape
  • Size: 92 cm × 72.5 cm (36.2 inches × 28.5 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1889

Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889)

This is a painting of the wheat fields that reflects the cycle of life, in which people celebrate their progress while still being vulnerable to nature’s tremendous powers. This painting was used to communicate his thoughts on the meaning of life. This is one of the most famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh of his many landscape works.

  • Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, United States
  • Type: Post Impressionism, landscape
  • Size: 73 cm × 93.4 cm (29 inches × 36.8 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1889

Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat (1887)

This painting is of Vincent van Gogh creating a self-portrait in the winter of 1887–88, after nearly two years in Paris. It is obvious from his work that he learned the Pointillist method and used it in his own unique style. He arranged the short paint stripes in various directions. His self-portrait provides good documentation of his artistic efforts.

  • Location: Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Type: Post Impressionism, self-portrait
  • Size: 44 × 37.5 cm (17.3 inches × 14.8 inches)
  • Year: Completed in September and October 1887

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887)

This painting depicts a peasant laborer wearing a yellow straw hat and a work jacket, which is characteristic of Van Gogh’s work as an artist of working men. His self-portrait symbolizes his reflection and sorrow. His self-portrait has a specific character that is separate from the composition of the time period.

  • Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, United States
  • Type: Post Impressionism, self-portrait
  • Size: 41 cm x 32 cm
  • Year: Completed in 1887

Van Gogh’s Chair (1888)

This painting depicts a rustic wooden chair on a tiled floor with a simple woven straw seat. A pipe and a packet of pipe tobacco is on the chair’s seat. The artwork is part of a set of two chair paintings. Van Gogh used empty chairs to represent the person who would sit in them. 

  • Location: National Gallery in London, United Kingdom
  • Type: Post Impressionism, genre painting
  • Size: 93.0 cm × 73.5 cm (36.6 inches × 28.9 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1888

Prisoners Exercising (1890)

This is a painting of a group of inmates who are seen wandering in a circle around a prison yard, which is enclosed by brick walls with a few small arched windows high above. It is one of Van Gogh’s most stunning copies. Van Gogh felt like he was a prisoner, imprisoned inside the walls of the Saint Paul de Mausole asylum or in a mental institution.

  • Location: Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia
  • Type: Post Impressionism, genre-painting
  • Size: 80 cm × 64 cm (31 inches × 25 inches)
  • Year: Completed in 1890

Portrait of Père Tanguy (1887)

This painting is of a paint grinder, who sold art materials and was an art dealer. He was one of the first people to sell Van Gogh’s paintings. Vincent’s mood and technique changed with this vividly colored painting. This portrait shows his skill with a brighter palette and demonstrates the development of his creative approach.

  • Location: 
  • Type: Post Impressionism, portrait
  • Size:
  • Year: Completed in 1887

Road with Cypress and Star (1890)

This painting is of a big, majestic cypress tree that divides two sides of the black night sky in the center. The graceful trees reminded Van Gogh of Egyptian obelisks, and he decided that they would become the main subject for his paintings. Van Gogh’s use of trees extends over the top of the painting and out of view in many cases, which is an interesting element.

  • Location: 
  • Type: Post Impressionism, cityscape, landscape
  • Size:
  • Year: Completed in 1890

The Starry Night (1889)

Arguably one of the most famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh. This painting portrays the scene from his asylum room’s east-facing window, right before daybreak, with the addition of a fictional settlement near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It shows how Van Gogh’s vision was closely linked to the new painting processes he created. The artist was known for his impressionist style of painting, and his strong use of oils and paintbrushes made him a one-of-a-kind artist who was quickly loved by everybody.

  • Location: 
  • Type: Post Impressionism, landscape
  • Size:
  • Year: Completed in 1889

What famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.

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