Van Gogh moved to Paris in March 1886 where he shared Theo's rue Laval apartment in Montmartre, and studied at Fernand Cormon's studio. In June the brothers took a larger flat at 54 rue Lepic.[103] In Paris, Vincent painted portraits of friends and acquaintances, still life paintings, views of Le Moulin de la Galette, scenes in Montmartre, Asnières and along the Seine. In 1885 in Antwerp he had become interested in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and had used them to decorate the walls of his studio; while in Paris he collected hundreds of them. He tried his hand at Japonaiserie, tracing a figure from a reproduction on the cover of the magazine Paris Illustre, The Courtesan or Oiran (1887), after Keisai Eisen, which he then graphically enlarged in a painting.[104]
After much pleading from Van Gogh, Gauguin arrived in Arles on 23 October, and in November the two painted together. Gauguin depicted Van Gogh in his The Painter of Sunflowers; Van Gogh painted pictures from memory, following Gauguin's suggestion. Among these "imaginative" paintings is Memory of the Garden at Etten.[133][note 8] Their first joint outdoor venture was at the Alyscamps, when they produced the pendants Les Alyscamps.[134] The single painting Gauguin completed during his visit was Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers.[135] 

Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept up a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.
Van Gogh had a catastrophic love life. He was attracted to women in trouble, thinking he could help them. When he fell in love with his recently widowed cousin, Kate, she was repulsed and fled to her home in Amsterdam. Van Gogh then moved to The Hague and fell in love with Clasina Maria Hoornik, an alcoholic prostitute. She became his companion, mistress and model.
According to a report published by the city, the population of the island was expected to number 1,991,200 by 2012, with 3.9 million in the Greater Montreal Area, an increase of 15.8% over 2001. However, in 2009, the Greater Montreal Area was estimated to number 3.86 million people, suggesting that the area would surpass the four million threshold by 2012. The four million landmark however, wasn't reached until 2014. In 2015, the Greater Montreal population was estimated at 4,060,700.[121][122] According to StatsCan, by 2030, the Greater Montreal Area is expected to number 5,275,000 with 1,722,000 being visible minorities.[123]

Van Gogh's nephew and namesake, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1890–1978),[290] inherited the estate after his mother's death in 1925. During the early 1950s he arranged for the publication of a complete edition of the letters presented in four volumes and several languages. He then began negotiations with the Dutch government to subsidise a foundation to purchase and house the entire collection.[291] Theo's son participated in planning the project in the hope that the works would be exhibited under the best possible conditions. The project began in 1963; architect Gerrit Rietveld was commissioned to design it, and after his death in 1964 Kisho Kurokawa took charge.[292] Work progressed throughout the 1960s, with 1972 as the target for its grand opening.[290]
Historically the commercial capital of Canada, Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s.[26] It remains an important centre of commerce, aerospace, transport, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, education, art, culture, tourism, food, fashion, gaming, film, and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of consulates in North America,[27] serves as the location of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006.[28][29] In 2017, Montreal was ranked the 12th most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Liveability Ranking,[30] and the best city in the world to be a university student in the QS World University Rankings.[31]

The exact sequence of events which led to Van Gogh's mutilation of his ear is not known. Gauguin stated, fifteen years later, that the night followed several instances of physically threatening behaviour.[139] Their relationship was complex, and Theo may have owed money to Gauguin, who was suspicious that the brothers were exploiting him financially.[140] It seems likely that Van Gogh had realised that Gauguin was planning to leave.[140] The following days saw heavy rain, leading to the two men being shut in the Yellow House.[141] Gauguin reported that Van Gogh followed when Gauguin left the house for a walk, and "rushed towards me, an open razor in his hand".[141] This account is uncorroborated;[142] Gauguin was almost certainly absent from the Yellow House that night, most likely in a hotel.[141]
Van Gogh wrote that with The Night Café he tried "to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad, or commit a crime".[125] When he visited Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in June, he gave lessons to a Zouave second lieutenant – Paul-Eugène Milliet[126] – and painted boats on the sea and the village.[127] MacKnight introduced Van Gogh to Eugène Boch, a Belgian painter who sometimes stayed in Fontvieille, and the two exchanged visits in July.[126]
In 1887, Vincent experimented with the pointillist technique espoused by Seurat, who used it in such works as A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. In one of his many self-portraits: Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, Vincent utilizes tiny points of light-reflecting color to reveal a sharp-featured man with the world-weary expression of someone who has seen more than his share of hardship.
In April 2013, Van Dyke revealed that for seven years he had been experiencing symptoms of a neurological disorder, in which he felt a pounding in his head whenever he lay down; but despite his undergoing tests, no diagnosis had been made.[55] He had to cancel scheduled appearances due to fatigue from lack of sleep because of the medical condition.[56] In May 2013, he tweeted that it seemed his titanium dental implants may be responsible.[57]
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