Read Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890 by Vincent van Gogh Free Online
Book Title: Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890|
The author of the book: Vincent van Gogh
ISBN 13: 9781579128593
Edition: Black Dog & Leventhal
Date of issue: September 29th 2010
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.50 MB
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Now in paperback, this beautiful and important collection of more than 150 of Van Gogh's letters paired with more than 250 works of art
Vincent Van Gogh wrote hundreds of letters to his brother Theo as well as to family members and fellow artists including Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. In many of them he described, in painstaking detail and beautiful prose, the progress of his work. Van Gogh's Letters presents more than 150 of these stirring letters, excerpted and newly translated, and set side-by-side with the art it describes, including sketches, drawings, and paintings. The result is an elegantly rendered collection that allows us to see the world through the eyes of one of the greatest artists of all time.
Previously published in hardcover as Vincent van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters
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Read information about the authorVincent Willem van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is "The Potato Eaters" (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.
In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil's gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.
In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later he was dead, having shot himself "for the good of all." During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.