Van Gogh lived a troubled life and was never given the acclaim he deserved in his life time. It is important for my students to know this as it may help define their outlook on art as well as others' opinions. Students discussed the importance of making art that YOU like. The world may change it's opinion on what is "good" at any moment. Thankfully, Van Gogh did not stop painting just because critics did not care for his style.
We also watched a short video that explains that Van Gogh may have been more in tune with fluid dynamics than present day scientists. It's pretty interesting.
So we spent a few weeks talking about Van Gogh and his work. But I am not going to kid myself. Twenty years from now, there will be just one fact that I can guarantee every student will remember from this lesson. If you teach art, you know what that is. :)