"Rarely are readers welcomed as wholeheartedly and intimately into the process of creation of truly great art as they are through Van Gogh's letters", writes Ronald de Leeuw in his Introduction to this magnificent new edition.
Anyone familiar with the drawings and paintings Van Gogh produced during his short, intense life will discover in the letters facets of his personality suggested by his art. They will also discover a man very different from the familiar image of Van Gogh as a madman who died a martyr to his art. Letters to his brother Theo, to friends, and to fellow artists reveal the humanitarian causes he embraced, his fascination with the French Revolution, his quest for God and ethical ideals, and his largely unsuccessful search for love. Illuminated, too, are Van Gogh's conflicts as a painter torn between realism, symbolism, and abstraction and the emotional crises brought on by his adamant refusal to compromise his artistic integrity to satisfy the "art trade".
This volume reinstates a large number of passages omitted from earlier editions of Van Gogh's letters and includes, whenever possible, the wonderful pen-and-ink sketches Van Gogh added to his written messages. Ronald de Leeuw's notes provide informative links between the letters.