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Vincent van Gogh


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An illustrated selection of Van Gogh's letters, which provide an extraordinary window into the life and creative thinking of one of the world's most iconic artists

About the Author

Hans Luijten, Leo Jansen and Nienke Bakker are the original team of editors who produced the acclaimed six-volume edition in 2009 at the Van Gogh Museum in partnership with the Huygens ING, Amsterdam.


'If you haven't yet discovered the impassioned power of [Van Gogh's] interior monologues, this volume of his letters [...] will make a nicely presented and eminently manageable addition to your shelves' - Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times
'Utterly absorbing' - The Lady
'An effective and readable autobiography raisonne which is just learned enough to be authoritative without being indigestible' - Art Book Review
'Find[s] a fresh side to Vincent van Gogh' - The New European
'This is a fine edition of one of the great documents of Western art - somewhat more approachable than the other editions - and is warmly recommended to every reader' - AlexanderAdamsArt
'The letters themselves provide a superb autobiography, anchored by scholarly annotation. Van Gogh thought there was no difference between an artist painting with words and brushstrokes: this book helps us realise what an artist he was in both media ... a fascinating introduction to a complex and wondrous creative life. Yes, it is the art that matters, but here, more than ever, we learn more to understand something of the man behind the art ' - The Arts Desk
'There is no literary artfulness about these letters, no sophisticated crafting of any kind, no high burnishing of his words and phrases, no literary show. They are like a mightily engulfing cascade of water in which you quickly begin to drown. You feel the urgency of his needs and wants on your pulses, from first to last. It is as if he is shouting in your ear. Though he is long dead, his words still have the power to exhaust you' - The Tablet
'An anthology of 76 of the finest letters' - The Art Newspaper
'Open any letter here and it compels - such is the force, honesty and lucidity of van Gogh's literary expressiveness, echoing his qualities as a painter. Generously illustrated with the artist's drawings, this is a perfect condensed version of the six-volume complete correspondence; among its miracles is optimism almost to the end' - Financial Times
'A literary masterpiece that would be worth reading even if his paintings were rubbish.... an engrossing encounter with the creativity of Vincent's life of solitude. As you read, look at his paintings online and see suffering turned into beauty' - Jonathan Jones, Guardian
'A judicious selection from the magnificent six-volume Complete Letters of 2009 ... Impassioned, often heartbreaking, furious, funny and tender, these letters form a unique testament from a pivotal figure in 19th-century art' - John Banville, Irish Independent
'[These letters] tell one quite intimately about what Vincent thought and felt ... They also tell one quite a bit about how his technical development as an artist' - Artlyst
'An excellent read' - Mature Times

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