Van Gogh Paintings Guaranteed To Make You Depressed

Vincent Van Gogh, let’s face it, was often a vessel of misery. Not of his own accord, but because his life, especially towards the end, was filled with suffering, miserable insanity. His depression and violent episodes are well documented.

The man was a genius of art. He painted rapturous swirls of colour. He painted light, life and energy. He also painted dark, grim, miserable images that will fill your soul with coal-black depression. Here are our favourite sad-scapes

The Night Cafe

We start with this bright picture. At first, you may think there’s a nice, bright, warm cafe with food and comfort for all, but you’d be wrong. Here’s what he said about it

“In my picture of The Night Café, I have tried to express the idea that the cafe is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime…and all this in an atmosphere like a devil’s furnace of pale sulphur.”


Three men are slouched over at their tables looking out of it from drunkenness, exhaustion, or both. A man is having a chat with a woman (likely a prostitute). And the glow is truly furnace-like.

The Potato Eaters

Just look how dark this is. The light-dark contrast and the colours accentuate the sordid mood. A miserable family of 5 sits at a miserable table, eating a miserable supper of potatoes. Look at the suffering etched on their faces.

Speaking of etching, Van Gogh signed his name to this painting. I bet you can’t see it. More on that here.

 The Cottage

This is the outdoor view of the home where the preceding scene of misery was captured. Van Gogh decided it was necessary to show us the outer misery to leave no doubts about the inner.

Prisoners Round

After cutting his ear off in a fit of insanity, he committed himself to an asylum. He decided to capture the state of his existence in a copy of a Gustave Dore. Inmates walking in a seemingly endless circle, slouched, forlorn forms of broken men watched keenly by guards. Pure bleakness.


Angry at the modern world for my own lack of taste.

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