Vincent Willem van Gogh - (1853 - 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist, a predecessor of Expressionism, whose revolutionary paintings had an enormous influence on 20th century art. Many of his paintings including his numerous self portraits, landscapes, portraits and sunflowers are among the worlds most revered, recognizable and expensive works of art. Little appreciated during his lifetime, and today widely acknowledged as the archetypal tortured artist, his reputation vastly increased in the years after his death. He is now regarded as one of historys greatest, most influential artists, and an important contributor to the foundations of modern art. A central figure in his life was his younger brother Theo, an art dealer who continually and selflessly provided financial and emotional support to the troubled artist. Their lifelong friendship, and most of what is known of Vincents thoughts and theories of art, is recorded in the hundreds of letters they exchanged from August 1872.