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Van Gogh: The Life

by Steven Naifeh Gregory White Smith

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, who galvanized readers with their Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Jackson Pollock, have written another tour de force--an exquisitely detailed, compellingly readable portrait of 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 to 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; and his move to Provence, where 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 erratic and tumultuous romantic life; his bouts of depression and mental illness; and the cloudy circumstances surrounding his death at the age of thirty-seven. Though countless books have been written about Van Gogh, 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. NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER Praise forVan Gogh: The Life "Magisterial. "--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "This generation's definitive portrait of the great Dutch post-Impressionist. "--Time "A tour de force . . . an enormous achievement . . . Reading his life story is like riding an endless roller coaster of delusional highs and lows. . . . [A] sweepingly authoritative, astonishingly textured book. "--Los Angeles Times "Marvelous . . . [Van Gogh] reads like a novel, full of suspense and intimate detail. . . . In beautiful prose, Naifeh and Smith argue convincingly for a subtler, more realistic evaluation of Van Gogh, and we all win. "--The Washington Post "Brilliant . . . At once a model of scholarship and an emotive, pacy chunk of hagiography. "--The Daily Telegraph(London) ANEW YORK TIMESNOTABLE BOOK NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYTHE WASHINGTON POST * THE WALL STREET JOURNAL * SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE* NPR *THE ECONOMIST * NEWSDAY* BOOKREPORTER

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