On March 30, 1853 Anna Cornelia Carbentus gave birth to a boy in Groot-Zundert, Holland. Unbeknownst to her or the father, Reverend Theodorus van Gogh of the protestant church, this boy would be tormented by severe mental instability for the majority of his life, die from his own hands, and ultimately change the outlook on art for the rest of history. His life was to become one of uncertainty and madness, involving largely his own need to find a niche and the undeniable love for art. This man was Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent's family consisted of his three sisters Elisabeth, Anna, Wil, two brothers Theo and Cor, and his mother and father. His earliest years were spent as a quiet child with little or no attention spent on art or artistic qualities. Other specifics about Van Gogh's childhood are not known.

In 1870, after completing a sketchy array of education, Van Gogh was employed by the Hague gallery, run by French art dealers Goupil et Cie, at the age of 16. Later in 1873, Goupil transferred Vincent to London then again to Paris by 1875. After this relocation, Gogh lost all desire to become a professional art dealer; instead following in his father's foot steps and devoting his life to the evangelization of the poor seemed more logical. Despite his erratic behavior his parents agreed to pay for his education. Gogh soon abandoned his lessons and began a ministry with the miners of Borinage. During this time he was able to identify with the miners, their lifestyles, and their families. This interaction between Gogh and the worker class is later shown in his works as he becomes fascinated with depicting peasant life.

After working with the miners for a period of time, Vincent's own urge to leave something of importance behind for mankind along with his brother Theo's consistent pressure, he became an artist. Without any proper training, or even having open artistic talent, Gogh doubted his abilities, and was supported in this doubt by his parents. However, Theo continued to push Vincent forward and supported him financially. The outcome would be the creation of a master of art, who evolved from his doubtful shell into a brilliant but besieged mind very rapidly.