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Van Gogh: The Birth of an Artist

by Sjraar van Heugten Mercatorfonds
Pub Date:
03/2015
ISBN:
9780300212129
Format:
Hbk 264 pages
Price:
AU$99.99 NZ$107.82
Product Status: In Stock Now
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In 1878, at age 25, Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) arrived in the area of Belgium known as the Borinage to work as a Protestant evangelist in rural coal mining communities. He failed in that vocation, and after months of soul-searching, in August 1880, he decided to become an artist. This fascinating publication is the first to examine Van Gogh’s time in the Borinage and his artistic development in the following years, when he created his first original works.   


 


Vivid essays tell the story of Van Gogh’s life in the mining towns, and the effect this environment had on his way of thinking and seeing the world. Augmenting the text are excerpts from letters Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from the Borinage, in which he describes his desire to sketch, and prints that he modeled after masterworks by artists such as Jean-François Millet. Other essays trace Van Gogh’s development as an artist in subsequent years, including his move to Brussels to fully pursue life as an artist. Thought-provoking examinations of works that Van Gogh completed after leaving the Borinage demonstrate how motifs that he developed there—rustic dwellings, laborers, agriculture, nature—became themes that spanned his entire oeuvre.
Sjraar van Heugten is former head of collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and an independent art historian.