Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh's unique vision, brushwork and use of color provide stylistic links from Impressionism to the conceptual practice of Abstract Expressionism. Although he produced his most acclaimed work in a span of less than three years, his technique, subject matter, sense of movement and vibration in his compositions influenced many artists of his day and of the future. His gestural use of line and distortion of reality for emotional effect became a guiding principle for the Abstract Expressionist artists of the New York School.
Van Gogh's renown steadily increased after his death, and his revolutionary approach to painting had a strong influence on the next generation of artists. The Fauves and the German Expressionists adopted both Van Gogh's use of color and gestural style, and later Abstract Expressionists such as Pollock and de Kooning made use of Van Gogh's experimental technique of sweeping, expressive brush strokes. He demonstrated that painting was not merely a study of the visible world, but also an expression of the artist's emotional response to his surroundings. His life of mental illness and instability created an image of a tortured soul who later captured the imagination of the world. His art and life have also inspired numerous films, as well as classical and popular music. Van Gogh painted 900 paintings and made 1,100 drawings and sketches, while only selling one of them in his career.