Van Gogh's 22 letters to Émile Bernard, a fellow artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris, are significant in helping us understand the great masterpieces he would paint later, after his move to Arles. Since Bernard's side of the correspondence is lost, he plays the foil to the older, more experienced van Gogh, who elaborates on a philosophy of painting ("in the end it's a question of expressing oneself powerfully"), on the work he hopes to do ("A starry sky, for example, well-it's a thing that I should like to try to do, just as in the daytime I'll try to paint a green meadow studded with dandelions") and on the influences of other great painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt. This lavish and complete presentation, published in association with New York's Morgan Library & Museum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, brings together color facsimiles of the letters, English translations alongside French transcriptions, notes and color reproductions of paintings mentioned in the correspondence and other complementary material. The volume creates an entire and delightful world around this highly readable correspondence-the kind of fine and exhaustive treatment it deserves. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Vincent Van Gogh, Painted with Words: The Letters to Emile Bernardby The Van Gogh Museum
This important, groundbreaking publication contains the illustrated letters between two great modern artists–Vincent van Gogh and Émile Bernard. The original letters were previously in private hands and have not been seen for approximately seventy years. Here they are published in association with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and an exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York. In addition to the letters, the book also includes paintings, photographs, and drawings by both artists, as well as works by artists of the period, such as Paul Gauguin and Jean-François Millet. These letters, written between 1887 and 1889, are among the most important and relevant sources of insight into van Gogh’s life and art. They bridge the time when van Gogh was living and working in Paris, where he painted most of his self-portraits (mainly because he was unable to afford models), to the small town of Arles, in Provence. Here he adopted new types of compositions and developed new ideas about color–all of which he describes in detail in letters to his friend and fellow painter Bernard. Only a year later, in July 1890, van Gogh died, at the age of thirty-seven. The authors have carefully placed each letter in context of relevant events and have written authoritative commentaries on the content of the letters.
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Meet the Author
Leo Jansen is the Van Gogh Museum’s curator of paintings. He and Hans Luijten are editors of the Van Gogh Letters project. Nienke Bakker is a research assistant on the project.
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