The Work: View of the Sea at Scheveningen, 1882
View of the Sea at Scheveningen was painted by Vincent van Gogh in 1882. This early painting reflects van Gogh's practice of painting outside in an effort to capture all the elements of nature.
While living in The Hague, van Gogh made regular trips to Scheveningen, a nearby fishing village. He had begun to experiment with oil paint, and he set up his easel on the bleak stretch of beach and worked directly on his canvas in the windblown sand. His strong and bold approach to the composition, using broad horizontal zones to delineate sand, water, and sky, was matched by his thick and expressive application of pigment. His compulsion to capture his observations on the spot reflects his awareness of contemporary Impressionism.
Van Gogh painted this small view of the sea using thick gobs of color and a rough brushstroke. The raging, foaming sea, the dark, thundery sky, and the boat's flag
whipping in the wind all give a good impression of stormy weather. Van Gogh painted this picture on the spot, at Scheveningen, a beach resort near The Hague. He had to fight against the elements: the gusting wind and flying sand, which stuck to the wet paint. Most of this was later scraped off, but a few grains can still be found in some of the paint layers.
Vincent Van Gogh
Born: March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands.
Died: July 29, 1890, at age 37, France, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
   Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.
<<< Stolen Van Gogh paintings back in Amsterdam after 14 years
March 17 2017 -
    Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were unveiled, barely damaged, at an Amsterdam museum on Tuesday, 14 years after they were stolen in a mafia heist.
    The works, 1882's "View of the Sea at Scheveningen" and the 1884 "Congregation Leave the Reformed Church in Nuenen", are from a period that was crucial to the post-impressionist master's development as a painter.
    "They are back," said Van Gogh museum director Axel Rueger ahead of the unveiling of the paintings, each valued by investigators on their recovery by Italian police six months ago at 50 million euros ($53.97 million).
    "I never thought I'd be able to say these words."
    The works were discovered deep in the heart of Italy last September behind a false wall in a villa that prosecutors said belonged to Raffaele Imperiale, who is accused of running an international cocaine trafficking ring.
    The sea view, showing a single wave-tossed ship just offshore under a brooding Dutch sky, is important to the museum as its only work from the painter's period in The Hague, where he studied.
    The other canvas depicts the church in the southern province of Brabant where Van Gogh's father was minister. After his father died, Van Gogh added black-clad mourning figures to the painting in tribute.
    "The children are safely returned now and they really are safe," said Rueger, after pulling back a screen to show the paintings encased behind a thick glass frame. "They will remain here for many generations to come."
    Italian investigators believe Imperiale is living in Dubai and running a construction business there. The arrests of 11 members of his alleged ring last January, including one man who turned state's witness, led investigators to the paintings.
    They vanished in 2002 after thieves climbed a ladder on to the museum roof and broke into the building in a heist that took only four minutes. They escaped by sliding down a rope.
    The sea view suffered minor damage when it was ripped from its frame, losing a piece of backing paper from the bottom-left corner. It was a "miracle" the paintings suffered no further harm over the following 14 years, Rueger said.
    Several major items were uncovered in last September's raid, including a private plane. One investigator noticed an unusual-looking wall, behind which the paintings
were found wrapped in cloth.