At the same time, his life was beginning to be a disaster and his works were not selling, which his brother Theo pointed out was because of how vastly different his dark color palette was compared to the, at the time, Impressionistic colors that were bright and bold. About a year later on March 26, 1885, his father expectantly passed away from a stroke. This only added pressure on Vincent to become successful in his life. Not long after, his work Potato Eaters was completed, marking his first large-scale successful piece (Vincent).
Enrolling in the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, he took inspiration from another artist, Paul Rubens. It is from his works that made van Gogh start to work with loose brushwork and swirling motions. However, Vincent would only stay at the academy for a year because of his dislike of the harsh atmosphere. Shortly after, moving to the art district in Paris and studied with Fernand Cormon who introduced him to the Impressionist artists such as Monet, Pissarro, Degas and Seurat. These artists combined with the pressure of his brother, finally convinced van Gogh to adapt a lighted color palette