Van Gogh Spent The Last Two Years Of His Life In Provence, Where He Painted His Greatest Pictures, And This Book Tells The Artist S Own Story Of His Most Creative Period It Reproduces Extensive Extracts From His Correspondence And Is Illustrated With His Paintings, Drawings And Facsimile Letters Van Gogh S Letters Are A Testimony To His Struggle To Survive And Work Here, The Combination Of Letters And Illustrations, Concentrating On The Period When He Painted His Greatest Works, Aims To Provide An Insight Into His Daily Life In Arles And St Remy, His Spiritual Torment And The Process Of Artistic Creation Itself The Author Is An Observer Journalist Specializing In The Arts, And Has Published Four Previous Books, Including Young Vincent The Story Of Van Gogh S Years In England. I ve always felt a bit of a kindred spirit thing with Van Gogh When I saw his paintings at the Musee d Orsay in Paris I got a little bit teary You could get so close to his paintings and it was a really big deal.This was an eye opener I didn t know as much about his as I should and his letters shout loneliness at you It s quite heart breaking His whole world seemed to be the painting That s all he had and I still wonder, what was the final straw What would modern day mental h
Will occasionally brings a bunch of art books home from the library, and this one was in the most recent stack I picked it up and really, really enjoyed reading it The letters are accompanied by fascinating and incredible sketches that Van Gogh included in his letters mostly to his brother, Theo explaining the pieces he s working on The book also shows the finished pieces There s something really interesting about the general perception of Van Gogh s life he was a crazy guy who cut his ear off which is pretty much all I knew about his life and the reality of his struggles He was so committed to his work, and longed for a sense of community in which artists could support each other financially, emotionally and by sharing technical skills and techniques The letters in this book prompted me to read a recent New Yorker article about Van Gogh, which questions what REALLY happened the night of the fateful ear cutting some argue Gauguin cut it off with his fencing sword , and so many other assumptions that have been made about Van Gogh And this took me off onto another path, reading online about the theory that some hold that Van Gogh did not kill himself, but was actually murdered there are some really compelling arguments here , including a very detailed account written by the last surviving person to witness Van Gogh s death at the time, the woman was the eight year old daughter of the inn keeper where Van Gogh was staying, and where he eventually died after supposedl
This was very good I have to admit but very sad at the same time It s a series of letters from Van Gogh to primarily his brother but also his sister, mother, Paul Gauguin and a few others The letters are short or have been abridged They hint towards his demise that Van Gogh suffered in the last couple of years of his life He had a few big setbacks in his short life and a few rejections in love and with work which ultimately led him towards a troubled state of mind and with him cutting off part of his ear He staved in Provence in south France and then right at the end when things got really bad went back to his brother in Paris but lived just outside in a village slightly to the north He would sketch the pictures in these letters to his family and friends before drawing them Having read this now I can t look at one of his picture without seeing traces of the madness that were plaguing him Painting kept him sane in between the relapses he unfortunately suffered His brother died not lon
Finally got round to finishing this book It was lovely to remember some of the Provencial landscapes in the colors described by Van Gogh and to be transported back in that wonderland for a little while Also got to brush off my french. Is it important to know about an artist other than the sum of their work I think so, and these letters written by Van Gogh give insight into the life and thoughts and friendships of this inspiring artist.
- 160 pages
- Vincent Van Gogh: Letters from Provence
- Vincent van Gogh
- 27 February 2018 Vincent van Gogh