The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh Review

A new selection of post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gough's letters, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh put a human face on one of the most haunting figures in modern Western culture. In this Penguin Classics edition, the letters are selected and edited by Ronald de Leeuw, and translated by Arnold Pomerans in Penguin Classics.

Few artists' letters are as self-revelatory as Vincent van Gogh's, and this selection, spanning his artistic career, sheds light on every facet of the life and work of this complex and tortured man. Engaging candidly and movingly with his religious struggles, his ill-fated search for love, his attacks of mental illness and his relation with his brother Theo, the letters contradict the popular myth of van Gogh as an anti-social madman and a martyr to art, showing instead a man of great emotional and spiritual depths. Above all, they stand as an intense personal narrative of artistic development and a unique account of the process of creation.

The letters are linked by explanatory biographical passages, revealing van Gogh's inner journey as well as the outer facts of his life. This edition also includes the drawings that originally illustrated the letters.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890) was born in Holland. In 1885 he painted his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters, a haunting scene of domestic poverty. A year later he began studying in Paris, where he met Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Seurat, who became very important influences on his work. In 1888 he left Paris for the Provencal landscape at Arles, the subject of many of his best works, including Sunflowers.

If you enjoyed The Letters of Vincent van Gogh, you might also like 100 Artists Manifestos, available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'If there was ever any doubt that Van Gogh's letters belong beside those great classics of artistic self-revelation, Cellini's autobiography and Delacroix's journal, this excellent new edition dispels it'
The Times

Title:The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Kalliope

    STARRY LETTERS In my youth I felt saturated with Van Gogh’s art. Its popularity made it predictable. As one of the greatest victims of the phenomenon that Walter Benjamin explores in his The work o...

  • Roy Lotz

    For great things do not just happen by impulse but are a succession of small things linked together. The main problem when encountering Van Gogh is that his life has become the quintessential artisti...

  • Francisco

    I want to be careful in writing this review because I want to do what I can to urge you to put this book in your list of Books I Should Read During my Lifetime. You have such a list, don't you? No? Wi...

  • Lus C.

    "[His letters] enable us to know more about Van Gogh's life and mentality than we do of any other artist. The letters form a running commentary on his work, and a human document without parallel."Sour...

  • Edward

    About This EditionTranslator's NoteIntroductionBiographical Outline--Early Letters--Ramsgate and Isleworth--Dordrecht--Amsterdam--The Borinage--Etten--The Hague--The Hague, Drenthe and Nuenen--From Nu...

  • Ammara Abid

    This book is exceptional, thought-provoking, painstakingly beautiful and soulful. Not only literary letters but they encompassed whole life of a genius artist.I absolutely love this book ♡It's worth...

  • Matt

    Robert Hughes writes in one of his essays on Van Gogh that the myth's around Van Gogh run exactly opposite to the truth. He recommends delving into Van Gogh's letters as a way to get beyond the myths ...

  • ZaRi

    تئوی عزیزم!احساس زیبایی طبیعت،حتی احساس ظرافت ونکته های آن، با احساس عقیده وایمان فرق دارد، اگرچه به نظر من بی...

  • Chu?t Th? c?m

    May mắn làm sao khi Theo không chỉ dành cả đời để giúp đỡ người anh bất hạnh, mà kể cả sau khi mất, ông và vợ vẫn giữ gìn những lá thư mà anh trai ông g...

  • M. Sarki

    I first began my reading of these letters as a way to learn more about the art process, the way to creation coming from the mind of such a gifted artist such as Vincent Van Gogh. I also was interested...