Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) has become, in the century following his death, a man on first-name terms with the world. His brief but eventful life has inspired the scrutiny of other painters, film-makers, psychologists and novelists, and his personal ...
celebrity outstrips even the substantial fame of his works.
While the popular appeal of such pictures as Sunflowers or Starry Night resides in their seemingly emotion-fuelled spontaneity, they are in fact the products of a reflective and idea-driven man who was profoundly interested in and inspired by all manner of literary, musical and artistic sources. Spanning his early work in the Netherlands, the formative years in and around Paris, and ending with the intense, vibrant studies of peasants and the countryside he produced in the south of France, this survey makes extensive use of Van Gogh's own correspondence to illuminate his artistic development and the personal vision that lies behind his work. The result is a balanced and sensitive account of this most innovative and influential of artists.
Judy Sund teaches art history at Queens College, City University of New York. Her publications include True to Temperament: Van Gogh and French Naturalist Literature (1992).
Number of pages: 352
Date of publication: 18/11/2002
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