The Letters of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

A new selection of post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gough's letters, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh put a human face on one of the most haunting figures in modern Western culture. In this Penguin Classics edition, the letters are selected and edited by Ronald de Leeuw, and translated by Arnold Pomerans in Penguin Classics.Few artists' letters are as self-revelatory as Vincent van Gogh's, and this selection, spanning his artistic career, sh...

Details The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

TitleThe Letters of Vincent van Gogh
Release DateJul 31st, 1997
PublisherPenguin Classics
GenreArt, Nonfiction, Biography, History, Classics

Reviews The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

  • Kalliope
    STARRY LETTERS In my youth I felt saturated with Van Gogh’s art. Its popularity made it predictable. As one of the greatest victims of the phenomenon that Walter Benjamin explores in his The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, one could expect to see posters of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, or his Room, or Starry Night, in a third of the rooms of students. I suspected that more than this bright colours, always welcome in dingy lodging...
  • Roy Lotz
    For great things do not just happen by impulse but are a succession of small things linked together. The main problem when encountering Van Gogh is that his life has become the quintessential artistic myth of our age. The obscure genius ahead of his time, toiling in solitude, tortured by personal demons, driven by a creativity that sometimes spilled over into madness—and so on. You’ve heard it all before. You have also seen it before. His pai...
  • Francisco
    I want to be careful in writing this review because I want to do what I can to urge you to put this book in your list of Books I Should Read During my Lifetime. You have such a list, don't you? No? Will you think about making one? It consists of the books that a large majority of your fellow humans believe are representative of what is most significant about this gift you have received, which we call life. Lots of the books that should go on that...
  • Luís C.
    "[His letters] enable us to know more about Van Gogh's life and mentality than we do of any other artist. The letters form a running commentary on his work, and a human document without parallel."Source:
  • Edward
    About This EditionTranslator's NoteIntroductionBiographical Outline--Early Letters--Ramsgate and Isleworth--Dordrecht--Amsterdam--The Borinage--Etten--The Hague--The Hague, Drenthe and Nuenen--From Nuenen to Antwerp--Paris--Arles--Saint-Rémy--Auvers-sur-OiseBibliographyIndex
  • Ammara Abid
    This book is exceptional, thought-provoking, painstakingly beautiful and soulful. Not only literary letters but they encompassed whole life of a genius artist.I absolutely love this book It's worth reading."What I find such a pleasant surprise about painting is that you can, with the same effect you put into a drawing, take something home with you that conveys the impression much better and is much more pleasing to look at. And at the same time m...
  • Matt
    Robert Hughes writes in one of his essays on Van Gogh that the myth's around Van Gogh run exactly opposite to the truth. He recommends delving into Van Gogh's letters as a way to get beyond the myths and better understand both the artist and his work. Van Gogh is often given an aura of a mad genius, whose hallucinations and fits gave rise to the intense colors and patterning of his paintings and drawings. In fact, his fits (most likely due to epi...
  • M. Sarki
    I first began my reading of these letters as a way to learn more about the art process, the way to creation coming from the mind of such a gifted artist such as Vincent Van Gogh. I also was interested in his life, his story, and how he got to this end. Personal letters seem to be so much more profitable to me as a reader than fiction, or even a biography. Throughout the entire book I came to feel, and inhabit, his struggle, his pain, his lack of ...
  • Lauren Kammerdiener
    "How much sadness there is in life. Still, it won't do to become depressed, one should turn to other things, and the right thing is work, but there are times when one can only find peace of mind in the realization: I, too, shall not be spared by unhappiness."
  • David Sarkies
    The Mind of an Artist31 March 2018 - Adelaide Well, straight out I can say that this book isn’t the easiest of reads, namely because it is a collection of letters between Vincent and his brother Theo. It doesn’t contain all of the letters, namely because Vincent was quite a prolific, and very eloquent, letter writer, and Theo was one of those people that kept everything, which means that we literally have a copy of all of the letters that he ...
  • Jason
    if i had to choose just 2 books on a desert island it would be the bible and van gogh's letters!
  • Gregory Hunt
    Reading Van Gogh's letters is rewarding to any artist who's interested in the creative process. As a musician, I found these letters inspiring in parts. Be warned, most of what you'll read is about money, painting supplies, and what he happened to be working on at the moment and when he expected to finish, but he will occasionally talk about his philosophies on art and his personal thoughts and troubles. Make no mistake, he was indeed a tortured ...
  • S.J. Pettersson
    I wasn't aware that Gauguin was at Vincent's bedside when he passed and when I read the letter G wrote describing what happened I began to cry so hard. Not out of sadness but out of love for his dignity, passions and unwavering commitment, both artistic, social and in hindsight, political, to the infinite possibilities of art of which he humble only considered himself a forbearer paving the way for more important artists to come who would truly b...
  • Joaco
    The habit of reading whatever I feel like from the stack of books it keeps piling in my bedroom led me to these beautiful Letters of Vincent van Gogh.I was not expecting much from them, maybe some insight into van Gogh depressive character or perhaps some everyday experiences from the time he lived, maybe getting a better idea of what it means to be an artist. Vincent, however, delivered much more than expected.The letters are separated in period...
  • Inkspill
    What an incredible read. I read this to separate the myths from the truths and I figured the best way to do this was to get it from the man himself by reading his letters. Noting this Penguin edition includes a selection of his letters I read delphi complete works of Vincent Van Gogh illustrated which includes every letter, not realising it would be 2000, some weeks many letters would be written, and where they would be very long. Reading both e...
  • Patrick Sherriff
    Great stuff. My reivew is here:
  • Leesa
    Dear Sweet Vincent. I love him v much and he was truly a beautiful writer! Words, paint, art. I feel like I got to know him so much...I miss him! All heart.
  • Tammy Marie Jacintho
    I felt the full impact of Vincent’s loneliness, despair, and rebounding hopefulness. I felt the weight of what it means to be an artist, what it means to strive for your own voice, to know the strengths and weaknesses of your own hands. I experienced, through Vincent, a true representation of monastic isolation. Vincent’s isolation allowed him to deepen his dialogue with his beneficiaries. And, his most steadfast Muse was Theo. Theo and God. ...
  • Jose
    I'm smitten. It is impossible to think "Van Gogh" without being aware of the well-known irony of his elevation to the very highest altars of ART (and commerce) after a life cut short by despair and scarcity. In this letters Van Gogh makes his case. Vehemently, honestly and without much embellishments beyond their raw directness, he appeals to his patient brother Theo often for money but even more often for understanding. And even though he might ...
  • Keith
    so great. such a rare and impassioned human being, van gogh. he was one of the last virtuous men. i listened to don mclean's song "vincent" after i read this and cried undignified blubbery tears; "the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you! why vincent, why!"Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to ...
  • Francis Coco
    Once I house sat for a man I worked with while he was on vacation and as a thank you, he gave me a Cookie Jar with Van Gogh's Starry Night. At the time, I wasn't so crazy about Van Gogh because I felt his art was so commercialized - Starry Night seemed to be everywhere! But, a few years later I saw a Van Gogh piece in person and that changed everything. - - Brilliant. I just fell in love with Van Gogh. So, I read these letters and found them fasc...
  • Büşra
    I have been devouring this book. A page-turner and an invaluable treasure of documents to learn about Vincent's most intimate thoughts and feelings.
  • Aman Mittal
    Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.I can't stop admiring his art work. Sometimes I just want to drown myself in them. Anyone familiar with the drawings and paintings Van Gogh produced will certainly observe that he just not created any beauty with his art work, but the beauty that would give people something to think about. During his short, intense life, one will discover that The Letters of Vincent van Gogh highlight ma...
  • lavinia
    Van Gogh's letters are clearly the best way to know the artist, to understand his life, but not to get into his mind and understand his work. Throughout his life, van Gogh depended a lot on his brother Theo for financial support, and their letters are most of the time about lack of money. It's very interesting to read about the artists that he admired, and understand how he was influenced at first by Millet when he started painting peasants, pota...
  • Ted Prokash
    Most of what I knew about Van Gogh, previous to reading his letters, was gleaned from the 1956 Kirk Douglas movie, Lust For Life, and the 1994 Lee Harvey Oswald Band song, Van Gogh and the Chemical Haze ( Both fine offerings in their own right. This collection of correspondence is a deeper delving indeed.I have no legitimate understanding of the visual arts . . . but let's not turn this in to a litany of ...
  • Maan Kawas
    A great book that contains a great selection of Vincent Van Gogh’s letters, basically to his brother Theo, which are revealing and provide better understanding of this great artist’s ideas and life! The letters look like a work of literature, and tell a lot about the different circumstances and challenges in Van Gogh’s life. The letters included many painful and sad experiences in his life that left my eyes wet, such as his unrequited love,...
  • Chris Lugo
    This is literally the best book describing the experience of being an artist that I have ever read. Not only was Van Gogh a profound and deeply symbolic painter, he was also an excellent writer who understood how to use words in the same fashion that he used paint in order to express his profound pathos and admiration of the natural world. A true artist is someone who not only observes the beauty of nature but also lives it within their experienc...
  • Jill
    Next to An American Master: De kooning, this is my favorite book about(by) an artist. There are so few actual written documents left from any artist, and van Gogh was as good a writer as he was a painter. His relationship and love for his brother Theo is amazing. He is one of the few master's we can really understand because of his beautiful correspondence with Theo. I have read these letters over and over.
  • Roshni Ajmal
    22nd August 2018The feeling after reading all the letters is just a blend of each and every emotion that exists in the entire universe. I started out with this book but then I kept googling stuff, so soon I shifted to this website. And I am so glad that I did, the book doesn't have all the letters. This website is just a thing of marvel. Giving the readers all the options to, however, they want to read. and above anything else facsimile of origin...
  • Cristina Chițu
    Do go on doing a lot of walking & keep up your love of nature, for that is the right way to understand art better & better. Painters understand nature & love her & teach us to see. It is good to love as many things as one can, for therein lies true strength, and those who love much, do much and accomplish much, and whatever is done in love is done well.And not being too troubled by our weaknesses, for even he who has none, has one weakness, namel...