Leo Jansen and Renske Suijver, with a contribution by Ann Blokland
Languages: English, Dutch and French
160 pages, 146 illustrations, € 19.95
Van Gogh Museum Publications
This book is available in the online shop
‘a consolatory art for distressed hearts!'
How does a twenty-seven-year-old who has never shown any special talent for drawing or painting become an artist? Vincent van Gogh found himself in this position in the summer of 1880, when his brother Theo suggested that he become an illustrator. At the time Vincent was living in the Borinage, the coal-mining region of Belgium, where he had succumbed to a paralysing sense of futility. No one could have guessed that within a decade he would develop into an artist who would one day be known around the world and whose signature – ‘Vincent’ – would become a famous trademark.
From the very beginning of his artistic career, Van Gogh worked systematically and passionately on refining his workmanship. He chose subjects deliberately, assessing each theme for its suitability to convey his vision of life. This exceptionally bold and intelligent course of action enabled Van Gogh to create works that would earn him a prominent place in art history.
In this book curator Leo Jansen and researcher Renske Suijver present highlights from the collection of the Van Gogh Museum that have been chosen to illustrate Van Gogh’s self-devised programme of study. This new and surprising approach to his personality, his work and his development focuses on the ideas that shaped and defined his artistry.