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The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles Paperback – 29 Mar 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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  • The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles
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  • The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (Penguin Classics)
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Total price: £37.90
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141016736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141016733
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Offers fascinating interpretations of the work that came out of the short, stormy conjunction of their lives. "Entertainment Weekly" Gives the reader renewed appreciation for the darkness of Van Gogh's mental state and the brilliance of his artistic achievement. "Chicago Tribune" Informative and entertaining. "New Yorker" Brings fresh insights into the personalities and work of this odd couple of art. "Los Angeles Times" " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

`[A] drily witty, original and profoundly absorbing book' The
Independent

`Wonderfully perceptive...revealing and touching book' Telegraph

`A story of such fascination on so many levels...Martin Gayford tells it
vividly, intelligently and intelligibly' Literary Review

`The Yellow House offers a masterly portrait...of the nine weeks in 1888
that Van Gogh and Gauguin lived together in a pokey house in the south of
France' Mail on Sunday

`Wonderfully well told...with the rising tension of an inescapable
nightmare' The Telegraph

The author `manages to get inside two complex minds, analysing their
thoughts, fears, ambitions, complaints and fantasies with admirable
clarity' The Guardian

`Unmannered, sensible and to the point' The Telegraph

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read four fifths or so of the yellow house and enjoyed the description of Vincent and his life in Arles, along with Gauguin and the discussions about art, at this point I became a little tired with the many little details that the text raises and wished that the book had been just that little bit shorter. Makes Van Gogh more fleshed out than mere acquaintance with the legend does and one can almost quite imagine the living breathing man. pretty good all in all
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
It has been some time since I last read this book, but it is now the next choice for my local book group. I know some people don’t like this as the pictures by the artists are reproduced in grainy black and white, but I remember once discussing another book with similar type pictures with someone who works in the publishing world, and was told that there can be numerous reasons for this, from copyright and licensing to how much the book would cost if top end colour reproductions were used.

Martin Gayford here gives us a very interesting look at two artists, Van Gogh and Gauguin, and the period they spent together working in the Yellow House of the title. As well as trying to describe those tumultuous weeks we are also taken into the background of both artists, their family backgrounds and their aspirations, etc. Trying to re-create the weeks they spent together is easy on one hand, as we know where they went and what they painted, but it is much harder as you try to get inside the heads of these two people, and how they sparked off of each other.

What we are presented with here then is a fascinating read, even for those who wouldn’t even read such a book concerning art. We learn so much about Gauguin and Van Gogh and what was likely to have gone on between them, and how they both to a large degree inspired and encouraged each other, producing some of their best paintings. Although the illustrations here aren’t that particularly good we can see how they could both approach the same subject and come out with something that is completely different, not only necessarily to what had gone before, but also to each other. Admittedly this book won’t be for everyone, it is a niche product as such, but if you are interested in either artist then this could make a welcome read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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