The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Jul 1997
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"The best book of writing on art I have read." -- The Week --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
That Vincent van Gogh was one of the greatest painters in the history of European art is now generally accepted. That he was a man of high intelligence and tender affections these letters abundantly establish. By their directness and humility they bring us an intimate understanding of genius. To anyone interested in painting or in the mind of a creative artist they are indispensable.
But what makes them of supreme importance is their fascination for people who have, in the ordinary way, no particular interest in the arts. It is the human spirit, not fame of the artist, that is the secret of their perennial attraction.
This selection by Professor Mark Roskill, who contributes an introduction and notes, also includes the memoir of van Gogh written by his sister-in-law.
The cover shows van Gogh's portrait of his friend the postman Roulin, 'a man who is neither embittered, nor sad, nor perfect, nor happy, nor always irreproachably right. But such a good soul and so wise and so full of feeling and so trustful.'--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I expected much better from Penguin Books.
Don't get me wrong, the content of the actual published book (as in the paperback) is excellent, but the proof-reading on the current Kindle edition is awful. The text has quite obviously been put through an optical reader with nobody at the other end bothering to check its output. I have free Kindle editions of books which are better proof-read than this one.
Letter headings appear in the middle of a text thus disprupting the flow, words appear with figures inserted instead of letters, and the formatting of paragraphs is confusing: This happens often. More insulting still is that the reader is not only expected to put up with this but to pay for it too.
Needless to say I have returned this edition for a refund.
Penguin should look to correct this problem as quickly as possible as this attitude does not help their reputation as a quality publisher, nor does it do the Kindle brand any favours.
The Van Gogh student on a budget would be better off getting hold of a second-hand paperback, as quoting from this Kindle edition would be hazardous to say the least.
His letters are very revealing and much more enlightening than the usual 'life of the artist' offering. Van Gogh talks about his work in his letters, plans his work and sends Theo little drawings of them. It also shows that works such as the famous 'starry night' painted from the asylum window at st Remy was not the manically painted work many have tried to label it as, it was planned, he talks about wanting to paint such a work (see Professor biome on it being astromically correct).
Due to a good index it is possible to 'trace' his ideas etc. about various works, I have taken notes on works so when I go to look at them I can also reflect on van gogh's feelings about the work.
Great little book.
Ronald de Leeuw gives us here a selection of Vincent Van Gogh's letters, including the drawings that were on some of them interspersed with biographical sketches of the great man. You should be warned that the biographical pieces are in smaller print than the letters. The letters are on the whole to his brother, but there are some here for instance to his sister, and Gauguin. Because Van Gogh was such a prolific letter writer and a lot of these have been saved over the years, we can find out a lot more about him, as well as where to place his paintings so that they are in the correct chronological order. People sometimes get the impression that Van Gogh was an outright nutter, which is erroneous, or that he cut his ear off, which once again is wrong, he cut off part of the lobe, not the whole ear. This book starts at a time before Van Gogh became an artist and so you can see how he came to the decision to be one, as well as his thoughts and beliefs. I never knew that Van Gogh had spent so much time in this country, or that he was a fan of George Eliot's novels (something I have in common with him), as well as many other things.
Of course there are much more to his letters, including the fact that he had to ask his brother for money, and justify the quantities that he needed. All in all then this is a very illuminating book that will appeal to many diverse people, and is well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful but I have never seen so many typos in a book in my life! Well worth putting up with them tho.Published 17 days ago by Mr
A good selection marred in the Kindle edition by strange misspellings and poor illustrations.Published 19 months ago by Roy A. Perry