Vincent Van Gogh.

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 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 treeswheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued, and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a Lefaucheux revolver.[6]He died from his injuries two days later.

Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and he was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide and exists in the public imagination as a misunderstood genius, the artist “where discourses on madness and creativity converge”.[7] His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success over the ensuing decades, and he is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh’s works are among the world’s most expensive paintings to have ever sold, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world’s largest collection of his paintings and drawings.

British Rail Class 375

The British Rail Class 375 is an electric multiple unit train that was built by Bombardier Transportation (previously Adtranz) at Derby Litchurch Lane Works, from 1999 to 2005. The class form part of the Electrostar family of units, which also includes classes 357376377378379 and 387, is the most numerous type of EMU introduced since the privatisation of British Rail.

Medway Valley Line

Class 375/3 units started operating services on the Medway Valley Line from May 2012 to January 2016, and then from September 2016 to present day, with the exception of a few high-speed services from London St Pancras during peak hours. 4-car Class 375s and Class 466 Networkers occasionally appear as well as a substitute unit. When the sea wall between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central collapsed, Class 466 Networkers covered the services along the route until it was repaired in September 2016, with the Class 375/3s being used as a shuttle service between Ramsgate and Dover Priory via Sandwich and Deal.

This blog was made by Simon Schofield