From October to December of 1888, Paul Gauguin shared a yellow house in the south of France with Vincent Van Gogh. Never before or since have two such towering artists occupied so small a space. They were the Odd Couple of art history--one calm, the other volatile--and the denouement of their living arrangement was explosive. Two months after Gauguin arrived in Provence, Van Gogh suffered a psychological crisis that culminated in his cutting off part of an ear. He was institutionalized for most of the rest of his short life and never saw Gauguin again.
During the brief, exhilarating period they worked together in Arles, these not-yet-famous artists created a stream of masterpieces within the shared studio--including Van Gogh's Sunflowers, which decorated Gauguin's bedroom wall. Making use of Van Gogh's voluminous correspondence and new evidence, Martin Gayford describes not only how these two hallowed artists painted and exchanged ideas, but also the texture of their everyday lives. He tells us what they cooked and how they budgeted their meager finances and entertained themselves, and he movingly relays their inner fears and dreams. Gayford also makes a persuasive analysis of Van Gogh's mental illness--the probable bipolar affliction that led him to commit suicide at the age of 37. THE YELLOW HOUSE is a singular biographical work as dramatic and vibrant as the artists' pictures....Continua