Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dear Theo; The Autobiography Of Vincent Van Gogh” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Dear Theo; The Autobio...
Vincent van Gogh
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dear Theo; The Autobiography Of Vincent Van Gogh

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,731 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
Each night, Vincent van Gogh put pen to paper and poured out his heart through letters to his brother Theo. Van Gogh's letters lay bare his deepest feelings, as well as his everyday concerns and his views of the world of art.
Hardcover, 572 pages
Published by Cassell (first published January 1st 1937)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dear Theo; The Autobiography Of Vincent Van Gogh, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dear Theo; The Autobiography Of Vincent Van Gogh

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
An extraordinary document! What other inner view of a great artist's creative processes and life do we have like this one? (The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini perhaps, but it is boastful precisely where Dear Theo is introspective, materialistic where Dear Theo is threadbare, highly social where Dear Theo is solitary.)

We bear with Vincent when he abandons an early attempt to enter the church, during which he becomes about as parable spewing and pious as any pastor one can imagine. Then as he
Yun Yi
Jan 28, 2015 Yun Yi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I finished reading Irvine Stone's Lust for Life within one day like finishing a page turner, but I finished reading Dear Theo - letters of Van Gogh after a long time reading - each time I turned the page, I heard myself saying: slow down, take time, and digest every word slowly, as if the sooner I finished reading, the quicker the joy of being with him would vanish.

Van Gogh struck the world with his paintings, he also touched my heart with his words. If we take language as a vehicle of thoughts,
La sensibilità, non solo artistica; la coscienza dei propri limiti; le difficoltà economiche; le ombre della personalità; un'ingenuità genuina; e una caparbietà rara, da animale da tiro, contro tutto e tutti. Si passeggia con un senso di pudore dietro le quinte del genio, per trovare scintille.
Aug 28, 2015 Dorcas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This book is in serious need of a re-read. I read this when I was about thirteen, and aspiring to be an amazing artist. Vincent Van Gogh fascinated me. I never really loved his art (shhh) but the mad, passionate artist appealed to me. And can you get any madder, any more passionate than Vincent?

I also read this with much sympathy for Vincent's brother, Theo. What a long suffering, sweet person to stand by your side. Hero Theo.

I loved this book and Irving Stone's sister book, Lust For Life. Both
Mar 10, 2013 Saana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels a bit strange that this book is finally over. It took me longer to read than most books and still I feel like the end came quite quickly. But then again, isn't that exactly the case with his life?

I read this book to learn more about van Gogh as a person and I must say that I was surprised. He wasn't what I expected him to be. If you have a somewhat mysterious or divine image of him, this book will probably crush it - in a good way. For me it meant putting an end to any sort of romantici
Avevo già letto e commentato (vedi qui) una selezione delle lettere di Vincent, meno ampia di questa, costituita di soli scritti dedicati alla pittura. Qui, diversamente, le lettere scelte ci lasciano addentrare un po' di più nella psicologia del personaggio Vincent, nelle sue faticose relazioni familiari, nei segni che il pregiudizio ha inferto alla sua vita, nei dolori e nelle umiliazioni che patì, per il solo fatto di avere una sensibilità paradossale e un carattere ostinato. Ma anche un padr ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Fede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an emotional journey inside the mind and soul of one of the artists -if not the artist- that, in my opinion, better expressed the whole world through their pantings. Not to mention that he is my favorite painter of all time.

I had always felt a strong connection with him toward his works, and now, while reading, I felt it again and even more. His letters to his beloved brother, trough the ups and downs of their relationship and of Vincent's life, show a sensitive, insecure man, aware of
Melynda Yesenia
Feb 09, 2008 Melynda Yesenia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-fiction
"Wait, perhaps you will see some day that I too am an artist, though I do not know beforehand what I can do; I hope I shall be able to make some drawings in which there is something human."

after i learned to treat this like reading someone else's mail, exactly what it is, i ended up enjoying having such a personal view of vincent's day-to-day. some of the passages about inspiration and how it is to be caught in a fury of creation and "become hopelessly absent-minded and incapable of heaps of ord
Jan 24, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Van Gogh was clearly not mad, rather he was articulate, well read, thoughtful (and perhaps a bit desperate). Heartbreaking at times since we all know how it ends
Jun 23, 2016 Carolina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Por que se disparó en el pecho? ¿Por que nadie intentó salvarlo? ¿Por que la gente lo llamaba loco? ¿Por que la gente de hoy en día sigue nombrandolo como 'el pintor loco' sin haber leído sus maravillosas cartas o haber investigado siquiera su vida?

Son muchas preguntas las que quedan sin contestar después de terminar las cartas de Vincent, respuestas que nunca sabremos. Después de leer esta maravillosa recopilación de cartas me siento mucho más apasionada por aprender, siento la necesidad de pi
Feb 08, 2014 Yakup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Farzedin ki; yürürken elinize çok eskimiş bir çuval geçti, içerisinde bir yığın mektup buldunuz. Bu mektuplar, içerisinde yaşamsal enerijiyi bütün çoşkunluğuyla yaşayıp tüm mağduriyetine boyun eğerek verdiği mücadeleyi yazan Vincent Van Gogh. Abinin kardeşi Theo'ya yazdığı mektupları bizde bir göz atma fırsatı buluyoruz. Mektupları incelediğimizde, cesaretiniz varsa eğer bir yola çıktığınızda ne kadar şeyden vazgeçebiliceğinizin bir listesini ortaya koymaktadır.Nasıl derseniz eğer efsanevi bir b ...more
Bernardo Arcos Álvarez
Sep 29, 2014 Bernardo Arcos Álvarez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Van Gogh, tristemente, nunca se consideró a sí mismo como un gran pintor, murió pensando que su nombre quedaría en el olvido, y que su vida había sido un fracaso total. Las correspondencia que tuvo con su hermano permite conocer, de su propia voz, su miseria y su genialidad: la forma en que administraba sus mendrugos de pan negro, y sus teorías acerca del color, de la pintura y de la vida; dejan entrever a un ser humano sufriente y sensible que lucha por mantener la cordura a medida que cambia p ...more
Ayse Bilgen
Jul 22, 2015 Ayse Bilgen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: enn-sevdiklerim
Sadece benim gibi Van Gogh hayranlarının değil, edebiyata, felsefeye, piskolojiye, sanatsal yaratıcılık serüvenine merakı olanların da ilgileneceği bir kitap. Pınar Kür de bu değerli mektupları büyük bir özen ve ustalıkla çevirmiş. Mektupları okumadan önce sanatçının hayatını ve eserlerini (mektuplar okunurken de incelenebilir) incelemekte fayda var.
Jul 26, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and heartbreaking. VVG thought deeply about the nature of art and its relation to life and labor. It's not quite an autobiography but a collection of letters to his brother Theo. VVG spent most of his life searching to find his way as an artist, thoroughly dependent on his art dealer brother, and unable to form lasting relationships (though he desperately craves them) with other artists and family members. At last, he begins to develop his stride over the last two years of his life, as ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Aries rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografie
Mi sono accostato a questo libro con molte aspettative, probabilmente troppe.
Premetto di non essere neanche lontanamente un esperto, né di arte né di Van Gogh, ma le sue opere mi piacciono e ho sempre trovato interessante quel poco che sapevo della sua vita privata, tanto da volermi far desiderare di approfondire un po'.

Ho immaginato che leggere le sue lettere al fratello Theo potesse essere un buon modo di avvicinarmi al personaggio, di entrare nella sua testa, nella sua vita e, soprattutto, ne
Jan 08, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to rate or write about. It is a book of letters all, written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother, Theo. That is all. It is not a difficult read. It is exhusting. Van Gogh was a driven man. He was not easy and he was so single minded. It is hard to read his letters, but there are some wonderful passages, when he talks about colors and what he sees and how he feels.

He loved his brother Theo, and depended entirely on him for his income to live and paint. It was never a happy lif
Feb 15, 2016 Tamara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tamara by: Diana
This is one of my Top Five All Time Favorites, in a permanent position. Vincent's letters reveal his tormented yet beautiful soul. If you love, admire, or just appreciate his art, you will learn to love, admire, and appreciate him as a writer, a Christian, and brother. This is one of the "old friends" I like to re-visit.
Shantal Abrego
Apr 12, 2015 Shantal Abrego rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un libro que muestra la genialidad de Van Gogh. Desearía haber leído este libro años atrás.
Estar en su cabeza durante su locura y comprender como él que lo más importante es trabajar en lo que amas, me ha conmovido hasta el extremo.
Amo a este hombre, por su obra y su persona.
Juan Almonacid
"- Es bueno amar tanto como se pueda, porque ahí radica la verdadera fuerza, y el que mucho ama realiza grandes cosas y se siente capaz, y lo que se hace por amor está bien hecho.

-La mejor definición de la palabra arte que conozco es ésta: "El arte es el hombre agregado a la naturaleza"; la naturaleza, la realidad, la verdad, pero con un significado, con una concepción, con un carácter, que el artista hace resaltar, y a los cuales da expresión, "que redime", que desenreda, libera, ilumina.

-En v
Jul 30, 2016 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Art lovers and everyone else
Recommended to Sofia by: Mi tía
Con este libro te llevás una mirada profunda a quién era Vincent Van Gogh, su vida y obra tan indivisible como dicen en la introducción. Te da una idea de sus diferentes períodos y cómo se relacionan con los lugares donde vivió.

En sus cartas Vincent menciona montones de artistas, cuadros o describe obras en las que él trabajaba en ese momento; mientras leía iba buscando todas estas cosas a las que hace referencia para expandir la experiencia. Me armé una linda carpeta de imágenes! Su mundo era
Oct 13, 2010 Kindell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply beautiful. The way he describes what he sees gives you a glimpse into how he composes his paintings. He views landscapes in patches of color and harmonies. It makes me want to view the world this way. Here is a random example of what I mean: "I am making a study of a red sun between the little birches on a marshy meadow, from which the white evening damp rises; beyond the meadow one can just discern at the horizon a bluish-grey line of trees with a few roofs."

This book is also very sad. V
Aug 28, 2013 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really not what I expected, but kind of fascinating nonetheless. I expected to be riveted by the emotionally charged ravings of a brilliant lunatic - mad love affairs provoking jealous rages and self-mutilation. Instead van Gogh for the most part appears to be an entirely different man than the stereotype of the "crazy starving artist."

The only thing that seems crazy about him is that he literally appears to have spent his every waking moment painting. He does not have any close emotional bonds
Jun 24, 2016 Vienami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that when you finish this book only right thought is "What a brilliant talanted and the cleverest person". With each page I thought - what the effect on people could have this letters. Letters, full of right ideas, powerful words and deep sorrow. Practically always we can hear that letters is something private and we mustn't read it, but Van Gogh created something absolutely amazing and inspiring, so I think that it won't be a criminal to fall in love with this masterpiece. If you love t ...more
Jun 07, 2014 Katya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Определенно больше, чем просто письма. В них столько всего... В них вся жизнь: с небольшими взлетами и болезненными падениями. В написанных Ван Гогом строчках дорогому брату - и тоска, и терпение, и любовь, и жалобы, и надежда на лучшее, на то что жизнь повернется светлой стороной. И, конечно, в письмах описания творческого процесса, возможность заглянуть за подрамник, в глубины искусства Ван Гога, в его сферические необъятные пространства, где мерцают и переливаются, наливаются яркими сочетания ...more
Omar Valadez
Sep 27, 2015 Omar Valadez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De mitad al final no he podido evitar llorar por lo conmovedoras que me resultan algunas cartas.
Sep 30, 2015 Cansu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Çeviriyi duyguların yoğunluğu bakımından yetersiz buldum. Birçok sefer mektupların İngilizce'ye nasıl çevrildiğine baktığım oldu. Çevirmenle mi, benimle mi, yoksa Türkçe'yle mi alakalı bilmiyorum. Bence İngilizce okunması gereken kitaplardan.
Kitabın içeriği bambaşka zaten. İyi ki mektup yazmış; resimlerinden başka, van Gogh'un bunalımının ve o "her şeye rağmen iyi şeyler olacak" umudunun karışımını başka türlü bilemezdik gibime geliyor. Sonlara doğru gözlerim hep dolu doluydu. Bittiğinde "Ah be
Fer Silva
May 23, 2014 Fer Silva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Vincent hace que sea muy fácil que te metas en su piel y veas la vida con sus ojos. Al leer sus cartas, te das cuenta de lo apasionado que era, de su afán por aprender y siempre mejorar, por conocer, por encontrar la manera de darle significado al cúmulo de emociones que se blandían en su interior, al igual que su tristeza, frustración y posterior deterioro mental y espiritual. Quizá la frase inicial expone de una manera muy simplista todo, pero es uno de esos libros que hacen que todo tenga sen ...more
Franziska Herrmann
Irving Stone introduced much of the world to Vincent Van Gogh through his superb bio/novel'Lust For Life'but here it's the artist himself that tells the moving,dramatic story that no fictive acount can touch.While Stone's editorial gifts are considerable the true star of this important compilation is of course the 'Author'.We discover within these pages a mind,a heart,and a soul that shine with an intensity rivaled only by the masters own glowing canvases.An artist who 'paints'with words as effe ...more
Monica Bittencourt
Achei o livro chatinho e meio decepcionante. Chatinho porque fala muito de técnicas de pintura, principalmente, das cores e para quem não conhece fica chato. Muita descrição dos quadros mas sem as figuras, o q Tb fica cansativo.
Esperava conhecer mais dele mas as cartas pouco mostram a sua loucura e o seu gênio difícil. Pelo contrário, mostram um homem muito sensato e lúcido, preocupado com a questão financeira. O q vai em contra ao que a sua imagem que o mundo tem.
Nas cartas não dá para entend
Semih İnan
Jan 15, 2016 Semih İnan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eğer Vincent Van Gogh'u tanımak istiyorsanız kesinlikle ilk olarak yapmanız gereken şey bu kitabı okumaya başlamak. Zamanla hem onu anlamaya hem de sevmeye başlayacaksınız. Bu sevgi biraz acıma duygusundan biraz da kendisini çok güzel anlatmasından filizlenecek. Zaman zaman üzülecek, bazen ağlayacak bazen de sevineceksiniz. Onun hayal dünyasına dalacak, hayat mücadelesine tanıklık edeceksiniz.

Bu kitabı okumaya başladığım dönem, güzel sanatlar fakültesi yetenek sınavına yeniden hazırlanma kararı
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What do you think? 2 12 Dec 08, 2013 11:52AM  
  • Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Depths of Glory: A Biographical Novel of Camille Pissarro
  • The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles
  • Goya
  • Letters on Cézanne
  • Vincent Van Gogh: The Complete Paintings
  • Gustav Klimt: 1862-1918
  • Lee Krasner: A Biography
  • The Private Lives of the Impressionists
  • Rembrandt's Eyes
  • The Art Spirit
  • Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell
  • Arcimboldo (Taschen Basic Art)
  • Grant Wood: A Life
  • M: The Man Who Became Caravaggio
  • Frida Kahlo: The Paintings
  • The Unknown Matisse, 1869-1908
  • Edvard Munch: 1863-1944 (Basic Art)
Vincent 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 cle ...more
More about Vincent van Gogh...

Share This Book

“There was a sentence in your letter that struck me, “I wish I were far away from everything, I am the cause of all, and bring only sorrow to everybody, I alone have brought all this misery on myself and others.” These words struck me because that same feeling, just the same, not more nor less, is also on my conscience.” 42 likes
“We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: “He is the one.” But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.” 34 likes
More quotes…