Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890

This is a beautiful and enlightening collection of Van Gogh s letters in the context of the drawings and paintings that they refer to The book is well printed on heavy paper and the reproductions

This is a beautiful and enlightening collection of Van Gogh’s letters in the context of the drawings and paintings that they refer to. The book is well printed on heavy paper, and the reproductions seem quite good. There are reproductions of many of the actual physical letters becaues they often include sketches of the works that Van Gogh was drawing or painting at the time. It also provides the translations of the letters, and representative drawings and paintings. Most of the letters are to his brother Theo, while a few are to others such as Emile Bernard. The focus on drawing was unexpected but very rewarding.I read it in combination with another very similar volume of all of Van Gogh’s letters to Bernard, again with the reproductions of the physical letters, the transcription into French, the translation into English, and many reproductions, mostly of paintings. In that book, the reproductions are not only of Van Gogh’s works, but those of Bernard, Gauguin, and many other contemporary and historical painters to whom Van Gogh refers in his letters. In this case the correspondence between the works mentioned in the letters and the works reproduced is much closer. The nice thing is that one can find here many of the works referred to in the Van Gogh’s Letters book, but not actually reproduced there, because Van Gogh was writing in parallel to Theo and Bernard. (Vincent Van Gogh, Painted with Words: The Letters to Emile Bernard by Leo Jansen, Nienke Bakker, and Hans Luitjen. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4... )The letters are of course remarkable for their thoughts on art, artists, literature, religion, landscape, and many other topics. The volume with letters to Theo starts in 1882, as he was beginning to teach himself to draw in Holland. His awareness of his shortcomings along with his persistence and conviction that he will achieve the skills he is after are fascinating. The volume gave me a much better appreciation of his drawings, to accompany my interest in his painting. He spend years focusing on the drawing before he felt that moving on to paint was finally right. One subtle change that isn't marked upon in this volume is the switch from Dutch to French. After he moves to France, he shifts from writing to Theo in Dutch to writing to him in French, and his written thoughts are just as insightful. About half the book is dedicated to his development in Holland before he moved to Paris, and about half to his life in France, the vast majority to Provence.The combination of the two books, with their fine reproductions and lovely presentation, is highly recommended. (I say fine reproductions NOT having recently seen an actual Van Gogh. I can never buy a catalog at the end of a show because the paper is just too far from the actual paint. But in these volumes, the colors and the brushstrokes are legible and fully support the text.)Bestseller Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890 Author Vincent van Gogh H. Anna Suh is a Kindle Now in paperback, this beautiful and important collection of than 150 of Van Gogh s letters paired with than 250 works of art Vincent Van Gogh wrote hundreds of letters to his brother Theo as well as to family members and fellow artists including Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard In many of them he described, in painstaking detail and beautiful prose, the progressNow in paperback, this beautiful and important collection of than 150 of Van Gogh s letters paired with than 250 works of art Vincent Van Gogh wrote hundreds of letters to his brother Theo as well as to family members and fellow artists including Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard In many of them he described, in painstaking detail and beautiful prose, the progress of his work Van Gogh s Letters presents than 150 of these stirring letters, excerpted and newly translated, and set side by side with the art it describes, including sketches, drawings, and paintings The result is an elegantly rendered collection that allows us to see the world through the eyes of one of the greatest artists of all time Previously published in hardcover as Vincent van Gogh A Self Portrait in Art and Letters. Vincent Willem van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot Zundert, Holland The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self confidence Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage a dreary mining district in Belgium , where he was dismissed for overzealousness He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty The works of his early Dutch period are somber toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is The Potato Eaters 1885 In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Th o, the manager of Goupil s gallery In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint Remy for treatment.In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers sur Oise under the watchful eye of Dr Gachet Two months later he was dead, having shot himself for the good of all During his brief career he had sold one painting Van Gogh s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew and impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line Van Gogh s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.. Popular Books Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890 I am reading Van Gogh's letters for the first time and I find that although this paperback version of a coffee table book seems voluminous, it is actually very readable and digestible. Van Gogh wrote more than 700 letters to his brother and friends so going through them all may be a bit difficult for a beginner like me. This volume extracts the more important and interesting letters and organises them according to major phases of his creative output including:1) the earlier years (his 20s) when he did mostly sketching and little or no painting2) 1882 - when he moved to The Hague on his own after falling out with is parents where he formed firm opinion about the importance of drawing as a fundamental skill, and when he did his first watercolour and oil paintings3) 1883 – when he did more studies on ordinary people and scenes in The Hague as well as more rural figures around the countryside letter 4) 1884 -1887 – his father died, he moved to Paris to join Theo his brother, and when he produced what he thought was his best painting then “The Potato Eaters”5) 1888 – His stay in Arle, the beginning of a very prolific period, with paintings in bright hues of yellow and orange, and the year he did his famous bedroom painting. This was also the year of the ear cutting incident after a quarrel with Gauguin. Van Gogh was later hospitalised.6) 1889 - he relocated to an asylum near Saint-Remy, and produced paintings darker hues of blue7) 1890 – In Jan, his nephew named after him was born, And in July, Van Gogh passed away.I really enjoyed reading this volume and the visual treat of Van Gogh's working sketches, drawings and paintings. He would probably have been a rather difficult man to live with, but you cannot deny after reading his letters - that he has a beautiful soul. I see his initial difficulties and sense of powerlessness when he was first learning to draw, how he overcame it through constant practise and observation ("I now no longer feel powerless as I used to be when confronted by nature."), his strong beliefs and sense of purpose for himself and his approach to drawing and painting. On His Life's PurposeVan Gogh believed he has been created with a purpose - to create beauty. And this gives meaning and inspiration to his life, no matter how downtrodden he may appear. “That I was not suited to commerce or academic study in no way proves that I should also be unfit to be a painter.” “In my view, I am often immensely rich, not in money, but (although just now perhaps not all the time) rich because I have found my metier, something I can devote myself to heart and soul and that gives inspiration and meaning to my life.” “I want to make drawings that will touch people. Either in a figure or landscape, I would like to express, not something sentimentally melancholy, but sincere sorrow....In short, I want to get to a stage where it is said of my work: this man feels deeply, and this man is sensitive. Despite my so-called roughness, you understand, or perhaps just because of it....What am I in the eyes of most people? A nonentity or an eccentric, or a disagreeable fellow – someone who has no position in society or will ever have one, in short, the lowest of the low....Well, assuming that everything were exactly so, then I would like to show through my work what is in the heart of such an eccentric, such a nonentity.”“Sometimes, dear brother, I know so well what I want. I am quite able to do without God, both in my life and in my painting, but what I cannot do without, unwell as I am, is something greater than myself, which is my life, the power to create.” “The more ugly, old, nasty, ill, and poor I become the more I want to get my own back by producing vibrant, well-arranged, radiant colour.”“If you work with love and intelligence, you develop a kind of armour against people's opinions, just because of the sincerity of your love for nature and art. Nature is also severe and, to put it that way, hard, but never deceives and always helps you to move forward.”“I feel such a creative force in me: I am convinced that there will be a time when, let us say, I will make something good every day , on a regular basis....I am doing my very best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things mean painstaking work, disappointment, and perseverance.” On Drawing Versus PaintingVan Gogh spent the first 2 years of his life doing mostly drawing - with pen, graphite - and little painting, believing that he has to get the foundation right first. “There are two ways of reasoning about painting: how to do it and how not to do it; how to d it with great deal of drawing and not much colour, how not to do it with a great deal of colour and not much drawing.”“When I see how several painters I know here are struggling with their watercolours and paintings so that they can't see a solution anymore, I sometimes think: Friend, the fault is in your drawing. I don't regret for a moment that I did not go in for watercolour and oil painting straight away. I am sure I will catch up if only I struggle on, so that my hand does not waver in drawing and perspective.” On His Subjects and ApproachHe loves to draw ordinary folks in their natural surroundings, preferably in motion than at rest, since to him is the truth – that in life there is more toil than rest. This seeking for truth in life reminds me of Hemingway saying in A Moveable Fest: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”Van Gogh wants not just to create beauty, but the kind of beauty that would give people something to think about. He does not believe in painting in an established formulaic way, not does he intend to do a realistic photographic painting, preferring to interpret what he sees and to give it another kind of reality in a crude, blunt way. So he does not believe in drawing all details, but choose to focus on what he feels is important.“It is always tempting to draw a figure at rest: it is very hard to express action, and in the eyes of many the effect of the former is more “attractive” than anything else....But this 'attractiveness' should not hide the truth, and the truth is that there is more toil that rest in life. So you see, my opinion about it all is particularly that I personally try to work on the truth.” “I wanted to make people think of a totally different way of living from that which we, educated people, live. I would absolutely not want anyone to find it beautiful or good without a thought.”“I would be desperate if my figures were good; I don't want them to be academically correct. I mean that if you photograph a digger then he would certainly not be digging...My desire is to learn to make such inaccuracies, such deviations, revisions, changes to the reality that they will become, yes, lies, if you will, but more valid that the literal truth.”Intensity and UrgencyLetter #309 written to Theo in 1883 shows that Van Gogh feared he would not live long and has only 5-10 year left (he was 30 then). This is prophetic – he died at 37. He acknowledged that those who take care of themselves would move from 40 to 50 into relatively calmer waters but he chooses to continue the intensity because “I must accomplish certain work in a space of a few years.” “The world concerns me only in so far as I have a certain debt and duty to it, because I have lived in it for thirty years and owe to it to leave behind some souvenir in the shape of drawings and paintings – not done to please any particular movement, but within which a genuine human sentiment is expressed.”*Update: In Feb 2018, I finally watched the long awaited "Loving Vincent" movie. The animated movie took over 100 artists, 65,000 frames and 7 years to complete. It was visually stunning and amazing, but I was a little disappointed the storyline did not capture the essence and energy of Vincent so passionately portrayed in his letters. My short review of the movie is at my blog https://monicawantstodraw.wordpress.c...
Vincent van Gogh The Letters The letters are the window to Van Gogh s universe This edition, the product of years of research at the Van Gogh Museum and Huygens ING, contains all Van Gogh s letters to his brother Theo, his artist friends Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, and many others. The Letters of Vincent van Gogh Van Gogh s Letters The Mind of the Artist in Van Gogh s Letters presents than of these stirring letters, excerpted and newly translated, and set side by side with the art it describes, including sketches, drawings, and paintings Enter your mobile number or email address below and we ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Vincent van Gogh Letters Van Gogh Gallery Jun , The Letters of Vincent van Gogh Vincent van Gogh s surviving correspondence begins on September, , when he was nineteen years old, and ends on Letters of Vincent van Gogh The Folio Society Consider, if you will, the times in which we live to be a true and great renaissance of art the new painters still isolated, poor, treated as madmen, and because of this treatment actually going insane Few artists letters are as self revelatory as Vincent van Gogh s, and this vincent van gogh letters Van Gogh s Letters The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, by Vincent van Gogh and H Anna Suh Sep , . out of stars . The Van Gogh Museum Paid , for a Revealing Letter Jun , The Van Gogh Museum reopened on June after an week closure It plans to display the Gauguin Van Gogh letter along with other letters by the latter artist in the exhibition Your

  1. Vincent Willem van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot Zundert, Holland The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self confidence Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage a dreary mining district in Belgium , where he was dismissed for overzealousness He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty The works of his early Dutch period are somber toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is The Potato Eaters 1885 In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.In 1886 he went to Paris to join his brother Th o, the manager of Goupil s gallery In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin, and began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists His nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health He decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results In a fit of epilepsy, van Gogh pursued his friend with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his ear lobe off Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint Remy for treatment.In May of 1890, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers sur Oise under the watchful eye of Dr Gachet Two months later he was dead, having shot himself for the good of all During his brief career he had sold one painting Van Gogh s finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew and impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line Van Gogh s inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.

996 Reply to “Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890”

  1. I am reading Van Gogh s letters for the first time and I find that although this paperback version of a coffee table book seems voluminous, it is actually very readable and digestible Van Gogh wrote than 700 letters to his brother and friends so going through them all may be a bit difficult for a beginner like me This volume extracts the important and interesting letters and organises them according to major phases of his creative output including 1 the earlier years his 20s when he did mostly [...]


  2. This is a beautiful and enlightening collection of Van Gogh s letters in the context of the drawings and paintings that they refer to The book is well printed on heavy paper, and the reproductions seem quite good There are reproductions of many of the actual physical letters becaues they often include sketches of the works that Van Gogh was drawing or painting at the time It also provides the translations of the letters, and representative drawings and paintings Most of the letters are to his br [...]


  3. Given to my by one of my best friends for my 28th birthday The actual book is gorgeous, a tactile experience to read in and of itself, with thick, almost silky pages Stunning full color images throughout combined with visually appealing formatting make for a reading experience anyone can appreciate, an artist or not


  4. I think Van Gogh s paintings are enhanced by these letters It shows his drive to succeed as an artist but never making it during his life Without these letters, would we know what it s like to be an artist



  5. Amazing read I researching a movie screenplay involving Van Gogh and this will be invaluable in developing dialogue for it The printing of Van Gogh s work in the book is top notch as well.



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