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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Yellow House
An excellent read with an insight not only into what transpired between Van Gogh and Gauguin in the nine weeks covered by the story but also into the relationships with many other contemporary artists and the art world. Difficult to put down.

BUT, the illustrations are useless as you cannot begin to see what these artists were doing by looking at not very good...
Published on 21 April 2006 by John Dismore

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arles not Aries
This is not a great choice for the Kindle as much of the narrative of the lives of Gauguin and Van Gogh relates to the paintings they did together and the poor quality of the Kindle versions of these really detracts from Martin Gayford's wonderful research. It would be nice if you had a web link to colour photos of the paintings and at least one could refer to them on...
Published on 5 May 2011 by ChrisWebb


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arles not Aries, 5 May 2011
This is not a great choice for the Kindle as much of the narrative of the lives of Gauguin and Van Gogh relates to the paintings they did together and the poor quality of the Kindle versions of these really detracts from Martin Gayford's wonderful research. It would be nice if you had a web link to colour photos of the paintings and at least one could refer to them on line. The illustrations are only captioned in list of illustrations on the contents page and again, this is really annoying as it is not easy to zoom back and forth between pages like you can in a book.
The second problem with this Kindle edition is that the name of the location of the Yellow House, 'Arles', is spelt correctly only 140 times of the 250 times it is mentioned. In 110 cases it is spelt 'Aries'. Somehow when the book was scanned in the l became i and a spell checker didn't pick up the mistake which is really irritating and I would think, really simple to fix.
This is one book that is definitely a book - not a kindle.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Yellow House, 21 April 2006
By 
John Dismore (Frome, Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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An excellent read with an insight not only into what transpired between Van Gogh and Gauguin in the nine weeks covered by the story but also into the relationships with many other contemporary artists and the art world. Difficult to put down.

BUT, the illustrations are useless as you cannot begin to see what these artists were doing by looking at not very good grey illustrations. Fortunately I have books containing colour reproductions of many of the VanGogh and Gauguin paintings. I recommend any reader to supplement the text in this way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intensely moving..., 12 Aug 2010
By 
Robert Machin (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
Penetrating and sensitive analysis of the intensely creative and volatile relationship between Van Gogh and Gaugin in Van Gogh's tiny house in Arles, Provence. Full of insight into the glorious and innovative paintings that the two men produced and the events which are likely to have inspired them, with enough social and psychological context to really bring the work alive. And in the end, a deeply moving as well as educational read.
Others have criticised the poor quality of the illustrations and it is true that the experience would have been greatly improved by full colour glossy prints. But it would also have made for a much more expensive book - as it is, this is cheap enough to be accessible, and the smudgy grey prints are so poor that they really drive you to seek out good reproductions elsewhere - or even to track down the originals - which may be no bad thing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars kindle is the problem, 5 Aug 2011
There are so many typing and spelling errors in this Kindle edition that it really spoils the book for me. Also, the definition of the illustrations is not great. My advice is to buy the printed version of the book. It is a fascinating account and I would give the content 3 or 4 stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a shame, 21 Mar 2007
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The Prof (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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What a shame that this book does not have prints of the paintings! It's a wonderful story, told supremely well, but I found myself struggling with the, frankly, pathetic illustrations most of which are so useless that they might as well not have been included. Monochrome illustrations of paintings that rely on colour for their impact - what was the author (or, more likely, his publisher) thinking of? Please Mr Gayford bring out a version with colour plates and I for one will buy it again!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect to see colourful pictures!, 9 Nov 2012
By 
A. H. Ford "petiteamour" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
I got this book on a well known auction site - it was cheaper. It was recommended by an art tutor so I thought I'd take a look. The story is fascinating and I learned much about Van Gogh but also about other painters and his relationship to them. The paper it is printed on is pretty naff - pulp fiction type and yes, any pictures are not in colour but I consider this book to be more of a jumping off point. You learn enough to make you want to know more and even if your local art gallery doesn't have the paintings spoken of, you can see them on line. I do recommend this. I only gave it 4 stars because it would have been nice to have pretty pictures but then it would have cost more too. It's a nice easy way to learn about Van Gogh and the era he lived through and stimulates a desire to know more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Level-headed, well researched and very enjoyable., 6 May 2013
By 
Keith Andreetti (Lincoln UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book immensely and learned a lot from it about the two historical figures and also about their processes of painting. Gauguin and, even more, Van Gogh have been mythologised to the extinction of their earthly reality. Gayford's book draws an excellent balance between faction and a scholarly biography. It IS scholarly and clearly based on meticulous research, but it avoids pedantry. Gayford deduces which train our heroes must have caught on their trip to Montpellier and it does not come across as nit-picking detail but rather it adds colour and reality to the scene. Gayford is very clear about what can be proved and what he is inferring from evidence but it is written in a level-headed but novelistic style that makes for easy and enjoyable reading. He uses the copious letters written by the pair, as well as the recollections of local people, to paint very believable portraits of them and their day to day lives over this short but very significant period in the history of art. He, as probably most of us, seems to have more sympathy for Vincent, despite his deeply irritating behaviour. Gauguin comes across as rather self serving at times. Roulin, the postman immortalised Vincent's masterpiece of a portrait, seems like a very decent guy and the sort of mate we could all use. The neighbours who all signed a petition to get Vincent `sectioned', and then swore to him that they had not, are easily imagined. Gayford suggests that Vincent would probably be diagnosed as bipolar today and he is almost certainly correct; and not just because it is a very `fashionable' diagnosis.
NB others reviews criticise the rather indistinct B&W illustrations but I found them useful as indicators...it is easy to look up a proper reproduction on the web and the illustrations in the book help you check that you are looking at the right one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Starry starry night of crazed genius, 6 April 2011
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Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this biography, which conveyed very clearly Van Gogh's tortured personality, with all the classic symptoms of manic-depression, which nevertheless seemed crucial to his genius - the striking use of colour and brushstrokes, and the disregard for the conventions of art. If modern mood-stabilising drugs had been available, he would probably have been a mediocre artist, if he had painted at all. I had not realised how prolific he was, creating a relatively large number of paintings in barely a decade. Sadly, these only began to sell after his death, so much of his life was spent worrying about money, and feeling frustrated by his inadequacy, since if others did not recognise his talent perhaps it did not exist.

His distinctive painting style is analysed in detail, again with great clarity, as is the very different style of his sometime friend Gauguin. The intriguing relationship between the two is also brought out - including the brief period in which Van Gogh mutilated himself after a rift between them, and Gauguin was initially accused of attempted murder on his return to their shared house in Provence.

As other readers have complained, my only criticism is the poor quality of the illustrations, particularly where they are black and white versions of paintings by two artists for whom colour was an essential factor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the yellow house, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
I have read a couple of books about van gogh including his letters. What iliked about thiscwas it brought Arles to life. I found out what the money he was given from theo was worth, that he went to prostitues - some biographies seem to censor this - and other enlightening stuff. Martin garford is a good author - his 'man with a blue scarf' about him sitting for lucien freud is also filled with little historical tid bits and is surprisingly gripping too.
Cheers and happy reading
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Publishing faux pas, 24 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles (Paperback)
Given that so much of this story is based around discussion and use of colour, the lack of colour reprints of all paintings thoroughly compromised the reading. A huge faux pas on the publisher's part. Can't think the author was very happy with the decision!
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