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Vincent Van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  57 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Throughout his life, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) wrote hundreds of letters, many to his brother Theo. Theo acted as patron, agent, and sounding board to the artist whose life was fraught with poverty, a struggle for recognition, and alternating fits of madness and lucidity. Van Gogh also corresponded with other family members and fellow artists, including his dear friends ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 30th 2006 by Black Dog & Leventhal (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jan 22, 2016 Colette is currently reading it
I bought this book in the bookstore without hesitation. If one would like to know Van Gogh better, this is the one book to buy.

In my opinion, this is not the kind of book that you should finish reading as soon as possible. I've been pretending that I actually received these letters, and reading no more than five of them a day. Therefore, I don't need to remember too much information at one time. And there would be enough time to savour.
Rob Corder
Oct 21, 2009 Rob Corder rated it it was amazing
A shocking book that tries to align the letters with the finished paintings and drawings that Van Gogh was working on during his voluminous letter writing. His letters are gorgeous to see and the ink sketches are pure genius. Breathtaking paintings, with his own narrative which in hindsight seem so humble and tragic.

95% of the illustrated work comes from Amsterdam.

I was always troubled by the Dear Theo letters, by not having a visual reference to his work. This solves the issue and is a delight
May 16, 2010 K8e rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite artists... I loved reading the letters he wrote to his brother and seeing his artwork change over the course of only a few years. Wish there was more of his work included, but it was a good book!
Jan 23, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
Very worthy read. Many things I did not know about Van Gogh, and so much more interesting come from his own words (translated). Just FYI, it is an oversize book, so don't plan on reading it on the train!
Oct 30, 2011 Faz rated it really liked it
Top 3 things about this book that really reach out to me:

1. The letters, laid side-by-side with his drawings, really brought his thought process to life. It was as if he could really taste every thought.

2. The translations of his letters were thoughtful. They really conveyed how empathetic he was.

3. I think it must have been really noisy in his head, back then.
Kim  Neve
Aug 03, 2011 Kim Neve is currently reading it
I just picked this up at Half Price Books yesterday, and I am very glad that I did! It combines Van Gogh's letters to Theo with his sketches. Copies of the original letters are interspersed throughout, and translated on the page. The letters, sketches, and prints of his paintings are also grouped chronologically.
The letters written by Vincent van Gogh are a part of Art History. The illustrations of his works include many not seen by the general public and are excellent in quality.
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