Read the text and choose the best answer (A, B, C, D) for the sentences (1–4).
Vincent van Gogh was born on 30th March 1853 in a little village in the south of the Netherlands. He was the eldest child of a clergyman and had three sisters and two brothers. Coming from a respectable middle-class family, Vincent learned to love books and drawing. However, he was not a brilliant student at school. Rather, his talent was displayed in art. His parents realized his gift in this area and admired the careful accuracy of his drawings. This was important to young Vincent.
Vincent’s interest in paintings was partly influenced by his uncles, three of whom were art dealers. At 16, he started work at Goupil and Company, an important firm of art dealers. Impressed with his work, his company sent him to work in their London gallery. It was in England that he became distressed by the sight of poverty all around him and the enormous gap between the rich and the poor. He decided that he wanted to help the poor and started reading the Bible to become a priest. His work suffered and he was transferred to the main gallery in Paris. Later, he was dismissed for absence without leave. He had also failed to qualify as a priest.
It was not until 1880, at the age of 27, when Vincent decided to become a professional artist. He spent the next five years developing his artistic talent. He had little money and lived in cheap rooms all over the Netherlands. The death of his father in 1885 shattered him. However, he became more determined than ever to be a successful artist.
Throughout his life, Vincent was poor; often hungry and ill. It was his determination to succeed that kept him going until he collapsed in 1890 at the age of 37. His paintings are colourful, bold and passionate, often constructed with painstaking care. Today, he is perhaps the most famous painter in the world. In 1987, his painting of ‘Sunflowers’ was sold in London at an extremely high price. He also left behind over 40 self portraits capturing himself in different moods: cheerful, grim, determined or miserable.
Vincent van Gogh was the eldest of ..... children in the family.
His parents ..... .
Adisapproved of his drawings
Bwere angry with his failure in school
Cwanted him to become a priest
Dencouraged him in his drawings
Goupil and Co. sent Vincent to their London gallery because ..... .
Ahe was good at his work
Bthere were not enough workers in London
Chis uncle owned the company
Dhe was a professional artist
Vincent was dismissed from his job in Paris because ..... .
Ahe went on a holiday
Bhis work was not up to standard
Che wanted to be a priest
Dhe went on leave without permission
5. Which one of the following statement is TRUE ?
AVincent van Gogh died a rich man.
BVincent van Gogh became famous after his death.
CVincent van Gogh was a famous scholar.
DVincent van Gogh sold 40 portraits of himself.
Examination Card ¹7
Read the text and put the sentences (A–H) in order.