Vincent van Gogh’s Siblings Ranked Oldest to Youngest

7 Vincent van Gogh’s Siblings Ranked Oldest to Youngest

Vincent van Gogh is a name that echoes through generations of artists as the pinnacle of genius and inspiration. The allure of Vincent van Gogh, besides his undeniable uniqueness and forward-thinking approach to art, was his equally enigmatic persona – much of that a product of his era. To say he lived an interesting, tormented, awe-inspiring life would be an understatement. Unfortunately, he didn’t live to see the efforts of his labor fully appreciated and accepted by his contemporaries until after his death.

Vincent shared five siblings that carried the burden and blessing of his last name. Joined by two brothers and three sisters, let’s look at the life and legacy of art’s most well-known painter as we rank Vincent van Gogh’s siblings from oldest to youngest!

7. Vincent Willem van Gogh (March 30, 1852 – March 30, 1852)

Age: 0
Born: Netherlands
Occupation: N/A
Known For: N/A

A lesser-known fact to most casual fans of van Gogh’s work is that he wasn’t the first Vincent born to Anna Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh. 

The Vincent we know took the namesake of his would-be older brother, who passed away at birth. In a letter written by Vincent, discovered in 1990, he refers to his older brother’s death and speaks on the impact the loss of Vincent had on his father. 


6. Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)

Age: 37
Born: Zundert, Netherlands
Occupation: Artist
Known For: Post-impressionist painter

Vincent van Goghphoto source: commons.wikimedia.org

Vincent Willem van Gogh was the son of Anna and Theodorus van Gogh. He’s the creative genius behind The Starry Night, Irises, Sunflowers, and Café Terrace at Night. His story is one of misunderstanding and tragedy. Rejected by painters, collectors, and critics, his post-impressionist style proved ahead of his time.

Fearless in his devotion to his style, Vincent was committed to painting the world as he saw it, and, unfortunately, he didn’t live to see the effect that his work and success would have for countless generations to come.

Despite creating over 2,100 pieces in his lifetime, he sold just one painting while alive. His reputation amongst his fellow artists was complicated, and he didn’t do himself any favors as someone described as being difficult to be around, paranoid, and potentially suffering from psychosis.

Of course, we all know the incident with his ear and how that debacle ostracized him further from his artistic community.

But in 2022, he’s regarded as one of the most influential artists in Western history, has an entire museum (Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam), and we don’t see his influence fading soon. 

Did You Know?

Although he only sold one painting while he was alive, since his passing, several of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings are among the world’s most expensive paintings and have been sold for millions of dollars. 


5. Anna Cornelia van Gogh (February 17, 1855 – September 30, 1930)

Age: 75
Born: Netherlands
Occupation: French teacher
Known For: Sister of Vincent van Gogh

Anna Cornelia van Goghphoto source: commons.wikimedia.org

Anna Cornelia was the daughter of Anna and Theodorus van Gogh. It’s been documented that her relationship with Vincent was one-sided. The two became estranged after their father’s death in 1885, but Vincent loved his sister, which he showed in a letter expressing his longing to see her again.

“Now I have something new to tell you; perhaps our Anna will come here. You can well imagine how wonderful this would be for me. It is almost too good to be true. Well, we’ll have to wait and see. If she comes, it will probably be in May; and perhaps it might be arranged for me to go and bring her back. I am longing to be closer to her than I am now. We have hardly seen each other once these last few years, and we only half know each other.”

Did You Know?

Anna worked as a “lady’s companion,” or assistant, for the Houten family. She married Joan van Houten in 1878 and had two daughters.


4. Theo van Gogh (May 1, 1857 – January 25, 1891)

Age: 33
Born: Zundert, Netherlands
Occupation: Art dealer
Known For: Brother of Vincent Van Gogh

Theo van Goghphoto source: commons.wikimedia.org

Theodorus van Gogh was an art dealer. Unlike his sister, Anna, Theo maintained a very strong connection with Vincent until their deaths.

In fact, Theo’s unconditional financial support, emotional support, and handling of the business side of the art industry are what enabled his brother to focus on painting throughout his entire career. 

Being the younger brother, Theo looked up to his older brother a great deal and was one of the few to understand the unusual eccentricities of Vincent in the way he lived and communicated.

Throughout their lives, they regularly wrote letters to each other back and forth, of which Theo kept every single letter written to him by Vincent (651). They also collaborated artistically. Vincent routinely sent him sketches and concepts, asking for his advice. 

Did You Know?

Following the months after Vincent’s death, a grief-stricken Theo was admitted to the hospital due to complications from syphilis leading to a brain disease called dementia paralytica. In 1914, Theo was reunited with his brother at Auvers-sur-Oise, so he and Vincent could “lie together eternally,” per the wishes of his widow, Johanna.


3. Elisabeth van Gogh (May 16, 1859 – November 29, 1936)

Age: 77
Born: Netherlands
Occupation: Caretaker, Writer
Known For: Personal Recollections of Vincent van Gogh (book)

Elisabeth van Goghphoto source: commons.wikimedia.org

Elisabeth is the daughter of Anna and Theodorus van Gogh. She began working as a caretaker of a woman named Catharine Marianne Louise van Willes in 1880. After she passed in 1889, Elisabeth married Catharina’s widowed husband, Jean Philippe Theodore de Queen van Bruchem. They had five children together.

She attended boarding school in Leeuwarden in 1873 and then in Tiel.

Did You Know?

Elisabeth, also known as Lies, wrote poetry. She wrote a book about the artistic genius of her brother, titled Personal Recollections of Vincent van Gogh, published in 1910.


2. Wilhelmina van Gogh (March 16, 1862 – May 17, 1941)

Age: 79
Born: Zundert, Netherlands
Occupation: Nurse
Known For: Sister of Vincent van Gogh

Wilhelmina van Goghphoto source: commons.wikimedia.org

Wilhelmina van Gogh was the daughter of Anna and Theodorus van Gogh. She was also a natural caretaker, serving her family and others whenever they were sick. After taking on a small role as a nurse in a hospital after her brothers’ deaths, she became part of a committee called the “National Exhibition of Women’s Work,” which earned her the distinction as an early feminist. 

Did You Know?

Wilhelmina was diagnosed with dementia praecox in 1902. It’s defined as a cognitive deterioration that begins in the late teens or early adulthood. She remained at the House Veldwijk psychiatric institution for nearly four decades until she passed away. 


1. Cornelis van Gogh (May 17, 1867 – April 14, 1900)

Age: 32
Born: Zundert, Netherlands
Occupation: Engineer
Known For: Brother of Vincent van Gogh

photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

Cornelis van Gogh was the youngest of the van Gogh siblings!   

Cornelis, known as Cor, was the son of Anna and Theodorus van Gogh. Unlike his only two brothers, Cor wasn’t as artistically inclined when it came to brush strokes on a canvas. Instead, he became an apprentice as an engineer in Holland in 1884.

After gaining roughly five years of hands-on experience, he left for South Africa in 1889 and worked for Cornucopia Gold Company and as a civil servant for the Netherlands South African Railway Company. 

Did You Know?

After divorcing his wife, Anna Catherine Fuchs, he served in the Anglo-Boer war and was reportedly listed as killed in action. However, there are conflicting reports that claim he committed suicide in 1900.

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