Wednesday, October 26, 2011

‘Van Gogh: The Life’ now published! Pulitzer-prizewinning authors’ new revelations on his relationships, work and ‘suicide’

‘The definitive biography for decades to come’
Leo Jansens, curator of the Van Gogh Museum and principal editor of Vincent van Gogh: The Letters

Van Gogh: The Life reveals for the first time that the artist’s famous “suicide” in the wheat field – the most famous suicide in art history – wasn’t a suicide at all, but the result of an accidental shooting involving two local boys and a malfunctioning pistol.
Read about the authors’ groundbreaking and controversial claim on BBC Online – ‘Van Gogh did not kill himself, authors claim’

With a team of more than 20 translators and researchers, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith have delved deeper into the record of Van Gogh’s life than any previous biographers, creating a database of research so vast that it required custom software and a team of ‘digital scholars’ to manage.
Other revelations include:
- That Van Gogh left Paris, where he lived with Theo for two years, not to enjoy the sunny charms and painterly subjects of Provence, but to save his brother’s life. In Paris, they had fallen into a dangerous, sordid life of absinthe and prostitutes and Vincent blamed himself for his brother’s deteriorating health.
- That Van Gogh, as a young man, pursued a religious calling to the point of starvation and self-flagellation.
- That Van Gogh did not go to his grave with his genius unrecognised. In fact, fame and celebrity came his way during his lifetime – but only months before his death.

This huge, handsome and beautifully illustrated hardback volume runs to almost 1000 pages and so far although I am only up to page 147 I am greatly enjoying it and reckon that at NZ$75 it is value for money.
Alternatively if you are as fascinated by the great artist as I am but don't want to fork out the dosh then race down to your local library and put your name on the waiting list.
I must say the cover and end-papers, and actually the whole production, makes for a truly impressive work, and that is even before mentioning the outstanding scholarship of the Pulitzer Prize winning authors.
Love it!
Profile Books are represented in NZ and Australia by Allen & Unwin.

No comments: