15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2010
This is a great book, and not just purely for Van Gogh fans, it's an inspiring book for anybody who has ever had a dream or ambition of any kind, as Van Gogh's story is about a man striving to realise his dreams. It's tinged with poignancy, because as we know, sadly, Van Gogh died poor and without the recognition he craved. It's only after his death that he became a superstar.
My only criticism really (and hence 4 stars instead of 5) is that I thought the actual letters themselves would be included, in full, and having skimmed through, this appears not to be the case. There are extracts from the letters, but not the whole text. This is probably due to the fact that the letters would have required translation.
However, it's only a small disappointment in what is otherwise an exemplary publication.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2011
The work of this chap is fantastic, the exhibition at the RA was incredible; I kept going back to do each room in detail and bask in the work. The book is also an excellent background and reflection of the exhibition; for any one that likes the works of VVG, a must have. I also suggest that you get over to the VVG museum in Amsterdam for more if you liked the exhibition and the artist this book is about.
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2010
I saw this today at the exhibition for #40 and was sorely tempted to get the cheaper paperback version but thought the quality of the reproductions was not so good although the book and the text looked wonderful and very interesting. This is a good reduction and buy on Amazon because the hard back was much nicer than the paperback so would make a good souvenir of the visit to the Royal Academy of Arts to see the exhibition of Van Gogh and his letters.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2010
Useful souvenir of the excellent exhibition. Catalogues all the letters & paintings displayed
at the R.A. 2010. Sadly, despite being quite well printed, the illustrations simply
can't match the luminous quality of the originals. The best of which simply
'leapt off the walls' as if they'd just been painted. But hey, that's why you have to
visit the exhibition & see them in the flesh.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2010
I realized that I did not have anything on Van Gogh or his paintings when trying to find something on him. I decided to invest in this book and it was definatly worth it. It shows deeply exactly what Van Gogh was trying to say and shows his paintings and drawings through a series of letters to his brother Theo and other correspondants. It shows the myth of the crazed painter to be that only of a geneius whom was often lonely. I thought that most interesting part was how he would paint a picture and then sketch it in his letters for his brother to see excatly what he was creating, this in itself, is eye opening and documents his life better than any other artist in the world.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see further into Van Goghs art and discover the meanings and feelings that he passionatly puts into his paintings. A really interesting read and beautifully shows his painting progression. 5 Star all the way!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2010
THis is a fantastic book to accompany the exhibition on this year.
I was deighted to findit on Amazon as I didn't buy it at the RA and thought I'd missed my chance.
The exhibtion itself it fascinating but very busy and it was difficult to get close to read most of the letters.
Havin the book means I can browse at my leisure and really discover moeabout this tortured soul.
As an added bonus it was quite significantly cheaper!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2010
I did not get the chance to see the exhibition at the Royal Academy so this book was a good alternative. Excellent content and also cheaper than from the Royal Academy. Prompted me to consider a trip to Amsterdam to see the Van Gogh museums.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Written to accompany a Tate exhibition, it is well-written, beautifully illustrated and full of fascinating biographical information written about and, more importantly, by Vincent himself.
For many, Vincent is the obsessive, mad-artist who cut off his ear and gave it to a prostitute after a fight with Gauguin. Yes, he did all of this but this is not Vincent.
In these letters to and from his brother, Theo, we begin to understand how intelligence, erudite and knowledgeable Vincent actually was. Far from instant impressions, he was very thoughtful about his paintings, usually planning them out careful prior to beginning to paint. Multi-lingual, deeply spiritual and passionate, he comes across as misunderstood, shy and introverted genius who, having considered and tried different styles of painting, pursued his own style, apparently without success; during his own life, he sold only one painting.
In May 1990, one of Vincent's paintings,"Portrait of Dr. Gachet", of his friend, Dr Gauchet, sold for $82,500,000. With Picasso, he is the most represented artist on the most expensive paintings list:
$71,500,000 "Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe"
$57,000,000 "A Wheatfield with Cypresses"
$39.700,000 "Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers"
$47.500,000 "Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat"
To many people, Vincent van Gogh is just the obsessive, mad artist who cut off his ear. This book provides a rare chance to read Vincent himself and broaden one's understanding and appreciation of this unique artist.