In 1878, Van Gogh was a struggling preacher, but he made one decision that would change art history forever.
He had jumped from job to job, being shy and awkward. He eventually decided on becoming an evangelist. Unfortunately after a three month trial period in Brussels, he was not admitted to a training school. He traveled around Europe, hoping to become a preacher to the working class, however it was only when he stayed in the area of Borinage that he decided to become a real artist, with the helpful push of his brother Theo.
He lived in a humble hut, gave away most of his money and gave away most of his clothing to be dressed as one of the natives of that land. Van Gogh felt sympathy for the working class, he felt concerned for them, and the divide between the middle class and poor stayed with him forever. It was in these people that he grew close with nature, and started to paint with nature for the very first time.
His time among the Borinage was crutial for Van Gogh to develop and master his own style of painting. He remained completely loyal to his subject matter, and continued to build upon it afterwards and forwards. After all, very few works of Van Gogh have survived to this day, since he destroyed many of his paintings as he revealed in a letter to his friend. Today, he is seen as one of the greatest artist of all time.