Listen&Learn: Vincent van Gogh

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the painter of famous works like The Starry Night and Irises.
Vincent van Gogh self-portrait

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • gallery: a place where people can go to see art
  • decade: ten years
  • psychiatric hospital: a place where people with mental illnesses are treated
  • recover: to get better after an illness or injury
  • iconic: very famous; well-known

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch . He was born in Zundert, Netherlands in 1853. Growing up, van Gogh was very . In fact, he had to leave school to find work when he was only 15. His job was selling art from a London gallery. He didn’t start making his own paintings until 1880. Van Gogh painted often through the last decade of his life, but his struggles with mental made it difficult for him to work. In 1888, he cut off his own . A few months later, he decided to move into a psychiatric hospital so that he could recover. While living there, he made the iconic painting The Starry Night. Van Gogh’s work is very well-known today, but almost nobody knew his name when he was alive. His paintings only became after his death in 1890.

Comprehension questions

1. Van Gogh's first job was

Correct! Wrong!

Van Gogh's first job was selling art from a gallery.

2. Van Gogh painted Starry Night while

Correct! Wrong!

Van Gogh painted The Starry Night while he was living in a psychiatric hospital.

3. Van Gogh's work didn't become famous until

Correct! Wrong!

Van Gogh's work didn't become famous until after he died.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you like van Gogh’s artwork? Why or why not?

Transcript

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter. He was born in Zundert, Netherlands in 1853. Growing up, van Gogh was very poor. In fact, he had to leave school to find work when he was only 15. His job was selling art from a London gallery. He didn’t start making his own paintings until 1880. Van Gogh painted often through the last decade of his life, but his struggles with mental illness made it difficult for him to work. In 1888, he cut off his own ear. A few months later, he decided to move into a psychiatric hospital so that he could recover. While living there, he made the iconic painting The Starry Night. Van Gogh’s work is very well-known today, but almost nobody knew his name when he was alive. His paintings only became famous after his death in 1890.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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