Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith galvanized readers with their astonishing Jackson Pollock: An American Saga, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography, a book acclaimed for its miraculous research and overwhelming narrative power. Now Naifeh and Smith have written another tour de force—an exquisitely detailed, compellingly readable, and ultimately heartbreaking portrait of creative genius Vincent van Gogh.
Working with the full cooperation of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Naifeh and Smith have accessed a wealth of previously untapped materials. While drawing liberally from the artist’s famously eloquent letters, they have also delved into hundreds of unpublished family correspondences, illuminating with poignancy the wanderings of Van Gogh’s troubled, restless soul. Naifeh and Smith bring a crucial understanding to the larger-than-life mythology of this great artist—his early struggles to find his place in the world; his intense relationship with his brother Theo; his impetus for turning to brush and canvas; and his move to Provence, where in a brief burst of incandescent productivity he painted some of the best-loved works in Western art.
The authors also shed new light on many unexplored aspects of Van Gogh’s inner world: his deep immersion in literature and art; his erratic and tumultuous romantic life; and his bouts of depression and mental illness.
Though countless books have been written about Van Gogh, and though the broad outlines of his tragedy have long inhabited popular culture, no serious, ambitious examination of his life has been attempted in more than seventy years. Naifeh and Smith have re-created Van Gogh’s life with an astounding vividness and psychological acuity that bring a completely new and sympathetic understanding to this unique artistic genius whose signature images of sunflowers and starry nights have won a permanent place in the human imagination.
From the Hardcover edition.
Black and White
Best to avoid the e book in this case. Unless you want to experience Starry Night in BLACK AND WHITE. Not a single color plate in sight, and a fairly moronic oversight for a book of this kind. I'd grab a refund if I could.
Color plates are in the book.
Check the table of contents.
VAN GOGH-THE LIFE
This is a brief review of the actual hardcover book itself and cannot address any of the flaw in the other versions. This is among the best biographies I have ever read. Seldom do I get a sense of time and place as most authors just unload a bag of facts and dates on the reader without making any of the subjects actually feel real. I have abandoned many a biography out of boredom--not for the subject but the lazy writing. The authors of Van Gogh--The Life makies the world of Vincent, Theo, and that time period very real. It reads more like a novel at times. Vincent was a person whom it is very hard to like and sympathize with at times as he is more concerned about getting money and art supplies from his brother and unconcerned with Theo's own struggle with money. Without spoiling anything the authors present an alternate theory of Vincent's death that contradicts the long standing theory of suicide. It is a great and sad book but worth reading for anyone interested in Van Gogh or art.