A fascinating look into the life of a tortured genius.
Using Van Gogh's letters as a primary source, the author discusses the artist's life, his approach to his work, and his mental illness. The letters vividly show the artist's life was no bed of roses. Whereas Van Gogh perfectly knew what was sellable, he continued to produce what he considered as honest, truthful art, regardless of current taste. He did not expect the art-buying public to understand the rough appearance of his work. Van Gogh acknowledged that being an artist simply involved struggle, but he believed that one would benefit from adversity, both personally and professionally.
"No victory without a battle, no battle without suffering."
In Van Gogh's case, it seems to have been a never-ending battle against poverty, isolation, and adversity. Given his circumstances - being financially dependent upon his brother Theo, not selling any work, and getting minimal recognition - his achievements are utterly amazing.
The Secrets of Van Gogh series:
Although I am not an art aficionado, Having visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam several years ago I've maintained a passing interest in the artist and his work. When I came across this title it piqued my interest but, to be perfectly honest, I did not think I would be overly impressed listening letters the artist wrote about his life. However, I was genuinely surprised by how interesting this entire (albeit short) work was. By using Han Gogh's own letters, the author truly gave Vincent a voice in trying to reveal to the listener the his navigating that fine line between genius and madman. The narration by Denise Kahn is nothing short of magnificent. The consistency of voice, combined with the passionate feel for the topic draws the listener right in, even to the point where one can almost imagine Vincent sitting across the table chatting as opposed to letter writing.
In short, I would highly recommend this listen to anyone that enjoys the world of the artist as well as anyone looking for a model of how audio books based on letters and/or journal entries should be presented. Well worth the time and credit. In fact, I am hoping (petitioning?) the author/narrator combo to begin work on the other 4 books in the "Secrets of Van Gogh" series. A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. If you found this review helpful, please take a moment to click yes below.
Socially inept, Can Gogh failed in his earlier employment and it wasn't until a suggestion that he tried his hand at draughtsmanship that, supported financially by his brother, Theo, he found his calling as an artist. But throughout his life he suffered physical disability and mental instabilities including terrible nightmares, seizures, melancholy and remorse.
Using quotations from Van Gogh's own letters, author Lisbeth Heenk, a Dutch art historian, let's the artist speak for himself through them. She writes sympathetically and without artistic jargon, a!lowing his own thoughts and fears to shine through.
Denise Kahn reads clearly, matching the text in clarity and simplicity, differentiating the voice of Van Gogh from that of Ms.Keen
An excellent book, succinct but packed with information to better understand the man behind the masterpieces. My sincere thanks to the rights holder who freely gifted me a complimentary copy of Van Gogh's Inner Struggle, via FAFY, at my request.
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