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Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890: Vision and Reality

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  866 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Handy size, concise monogram.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Taschen (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 25, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it
The story and works of beautiful human being who gave the world and his works of art so much of himself that there was nothing left for himself. His agony in living is clearly expressed in his paintings as well as his joy in the colours and the nature he tried to capture. The book is a tiny glimpse into a journey of madness, love, betrayal and genius.
To see the world through Vincent's eyes is truely a wonderous experience but scary and overwhelming also.
Some photos are included of his work ove
Dec 02, 2013 Simona rated it it was amazing
Che dire? Poesia, bellezza, arte, amore, colori caldi e tenui. Una bellezza che commuove e la mente di un genio. Amore puro.
Sep 13, 2008 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
While it's nice to peruse a compendium of my favorite artist's work, there were two major problems with this work.

The first is unfortunately inherent in van Gogh's work, and that is how printed facsimiles of his paintings never come close to the full register of color and sheer power of the originals. I was again and again taken by how his paintings, in this book, fail to really move me, while those same paintings in real life cause my breath to quicken and my heart to beat stronger, and I hone
Adam Roan
Jun 18, 2012 Adam Roan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vincent Van Gogh was an utter failure in life. He had four marriages which grew into dissolute vapor by the time he was 30 years old.

No place to live, rarely able to eat (artists of world understand this like an atavism.) He couldn't even sustain friends for more than weeks at a given time because of his "stay oft" between mental wards on and off during his life.

He discovered painting or, as I like to believe, painting discovered him. No doubt the The Middle Age art historians love to relish an
Jeff Lanter
Jan 03, 2016 Jeff Lanter rated it it was amazing
Art History is the one class I took in college that was a revelation to me. I loved how history and visual interpretation combined together. Artists and art are just interesting too. I am quite a long time removed from college now and I often find myself yearning to go back into the art history world and to expand my appreciation of art. Fortunately, this book did just that for me.

Vincent Van Gogh is larger than life. Almost so that you forget who he really was and only the crazy things he did s
In the past few months, I've become absolutely obsessed with van Gogh. His work and life fascinates me, and I've been keen to read something more than just Wikipedia articles for a while now. This book - out of everything available - was what I ended up with, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It combines details on van Gogh's life, quotes from him and people around him, plus analysis on his artwork (and also beautiful pictures!) to create a very detailed, insightful book.
Wilde Sky
Jun 17, 2013 Wilde Sky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vincent Van Gogh’s life and work is detailed in this biography.

I found this book interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly his family background was discussed which gave a fuller picture of the artist, his training and the financial support he was given – which contrasted with the normal picture of an unloved, penniless madman. Secondly the book contained numerous examples of his works, many of which I thought were very good.
Max Williams
Jan 24, 2008 Max Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd love to own all of Taschen's Basic Art books. I just picked up their Van Gogh book which has great prints of a lot of his work. I've read the first few chapters which explore Van Gogh's life and career as an artist. Very interesting read so far, but even better are all the great pages of artwork.
Jan 04, 2017 Silvia rated it it was amazing
Many of us claim to understand his work but did you take a step-back? Is it the same perspective? This short (but very useful) book sparked my interest in reading "Lust for life" by Irving Stone and when it comes to biographies, he never disappoints.
Pedro Miguel
Mar 02, 2015 Pedro Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He lived a weird lonely life and I think that this book is the best one to understand why he painted the way he did and why he's really important even nowadays. It's a great book!
Jun 01, 2016 Alexandria rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars.
A great intro to Van Gogh.
This book gives a great overview of Van Gogh's life, including not only the development of his art/style, but also of his mental state and relationships. It goes from birth to death and highlights the more major events and circumstances in his life. If you're not particularly looking to become a Van Gogh expert and are just looking to familiarize yourself with some of the more well-known details of his life/art, this may be all that you need to read.

It is al
Michael Meusch
Feb 14, 2017 Michael Meusch rated it it was amazing
One of the best Vsn Gogh books available.
Dec 16, 2016 M rated it really liked it
A nice and concise summary of Van Gogh's formative years. The text is peppered with Van Gogh's quotes, and as we progress through his downward spiral into madness and despair, we get a glimpse of the depth of his genius. From sunflowers, irises and street cafes at night, we see how his art evolved. My favorite Van Gogh painting is "Starry Night", but I discovered some new treasures. While the flat and lifeless picture reproductions in an art book are never a substitute for seeing the real thing ...more
Pete Kelly
Jan 12, 2015 Pete Kelly rated it really liked it
I'm not the most enthusiastic art lover, however, I have always liked Van Gogh. I am always drawn to his paintings whenever I find myself in a museum and have always been fascinated by his style and more so his defiance.

It was great to have so much of his life's work packed into one book. This book tells the story of his life and includes paintings along the way, as well as quotes from Van Gogh himself. It's amazing to see his style develop as his life does and you can literally see it happening
Nov 08, 2009 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cleaning out some bookshelves the other day (a never-ending task), I found this book which I bought some months ago. So I read it yesterday (it is just 96 pages) and even though I know quite a bit about Van Gogh, this was still a delight. Walther combines biography, paintings and analysis of them, and discussion of Van Gogh's techniques. I especially liked the illustrated time line at the end.

Very well done. This author clearly knows his art and artists. Great find!
Dec 31, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book about Vincent Van Gogh that includes his history as an artist, background about his life and many color images of his paintings. This is a great book for those who want to know more about Van Gogh, who want to know more about his art or for those who just like his work. You can choose to read it cover to cover or just pick and choose the chapters you are interested in.
Nov 11, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
As with other titles in the Taschen Basic Art series, this volume is a great introduction to the Van Gogh's life and work. The color reproductions are done very well considering the price and size of the book, and the chapters following the artist's chronological life history are interesting and very readable. A great introduction to a fascinating artist.
Mar 28, 2009 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, nonfiction
Fascinating book about a fascinating man. He was troubled but brilliant. I was especially excited to have details pointed out to me like his respect and obedience to drawing but it was once he applied paint to the canvas that revolutionized painting. His love of color and understanding of the relationship of complementary colors spoke to me.
Sep 17, 2016 Dina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creo que este libro es bastante bueno para los que nos iniciamos en el arte y no conocemos mayor cosa de los tecnicismos. Sin mencionar la calidad de las imágenes impresas y la fluidez de las explicaciones, lo disfruté mucho.
Aug 21, 2012 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Wonderful illustrations of van Gogh's painting, drawings and etchings but Walther insights on seeing van Gogh only through the lens of mental instability and misses some of the pure wonder of his artistic vision - a good introduction but now I am going to look for something with some substance!
Basar Aykut
Oct 24, 2014 Basar Aykut rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, art
Kitaptaki fotoğrafların birçoğu sanki orjinal tablolardan değil de kötü kopyalarından çekilmiş gibi duruyor. Birçok fotoğrafta ciddi gürültü ve renk farklılıkları var. Benzer yorumlar kitabın bazı yabancı baskıları için de yapılmış. Türkçe baskıdan kaynaklı bir sorun değil sanırım.
Patsy Parker
May 07, 2015 Patsy Parker rated it it was amazing
It has been a long time since I read this, but I remember it being very good, easy to read and informative. The pictures of his art are wonderful! (I'm guessing on my "date I finished this book!" :)
Aug 07, 2015 Aike rated it really liked it
Although the descriptions about how certain paintings were painted was a little too detailed for me a times, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very inspirational, the print was great and finally I know a lot more about one of my favourite artists.
Oct 13, 2016 Jerrod rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful read.
Dec 23, 2012 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skimmed
I didn't read much of what the author wrote; I just focused on the quotes from ol' Vincent and all of the wonderful paintings. Extraordinarily insightful and inspiring man.
Oct 30, 2011 Bookmaniac70 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bookmaniac70 by: bistra
Припомних си накратко живота и съдбата на един от най-любимите ми художници. Добър текст, който успява в малък формат да даде информация за основните етапи и събития в живота на Ван Гог.
Kamil Borkowski
Jul 08, 2013 Kamil Borkowski rated it it was ok
Brilliant artist and his body of work, but the book is awful.
Cheryl Schibley
Jun 17, 2009 Cheryl Schibley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
All Van Gogh fans - this is a keeper.
Jan 24, 2017 Sinta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very recommended for those who interested to dig a deeper understanding about Van Gogh's personal perspective (i.e. his views and standpoints).
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Ingo F. Walther was born in Berlin in 1940 and studied medieval studies, literature, and art history in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. He has published numerous books on the art of the Middle Ages and of the 19th and 20th centuries.
More about Ingo F. Walther...

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“Yet it was precisely these points which marked out van Gogh's own view of beauty, based on the people in his environment, who were admittedly not beautiful, but who embodied his idea of truth.” 3 likes
“I put my heart and soul into my work, and have half lost my mind in the process.' Van Gogh” 2 likes
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