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 Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. His letters, originally collected by Theo’s wife, Johanna, exhibit Van Gogh’s genius, his depth of observation, and his feelings in their most naked form.
In Vincent Van Gogh these letters have been excerpted, newly translated, and set side-by-side with more than 250 of his drawings and paintings. Van Gogh’s words and art illuminate each other and reveal a portrait of the artist as never seen before. The commentary of H. Anna Suh frames Van Gogh’s work and puts his art, letters, life, and struggles into rich context. The result is this timeless jewel of a collection, unlike any other Van Gogh book that has gone before.
|Publisher:||Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||10.70(w) x 12.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
H. Anna Suh has a master's degree in art and archaeology from Princeton University. She was on the curatorial staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has worked on projects for scholarly publications at the Met, New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, the Princeton University Art Museum, and Harvard University. She lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Vincent van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters by Vincent van Gogh and H. Anna Suh contains the letters sent by Vincent van Gogh to his younger brother, Theodorus van Gogh. These letters give information on the meanings behind the sketches and paintings Vincent created. The book holds many photos of Vincent’s sketches and paintings, which allows the reader to see how Vincent improved his technique over the years. In the beginning of every chapter, there is a small summary that describes what Vincent had gone through. It helps the reader understand the context of his letters. Reading the letters alone will make the reader confused, so the summaries help tremendously. There are footnotes that guide the reader through Vincent’s life and the letters are numbered so that the reader can see which sketch correspond with which letter. Sometimes the footnotes would explain certain phrases, which is useful. The format of the letters are neat and organized. It is not confusing to read. On the other hand, the letters and pictures that correspond are sometimes not in the same page, usually a couple of pages apart. So it is a lot of page turning. Otherwise, this book is a good read. It is a sneak peek of Vincent van Gogh’s life. The book contained many of his famous works, such as The Starry Night, and it was interesting to see Vincent’s thought process and his perspective of the world.