The happiness of Theo van Gogh (1857-1891) and Jo van Gogh-Bonger (1862-1925) was to last less than two years. After some initial hesitation on Jo's part, they became a couple in December 1888, and were separated by Theo's mental breakdown in early October 1890. His death in January 1891 brought their life together to an end. Their correspondence, comprising 101 letters, is kept in the Van Gogh Museum and presents an endearing picture of two young people planning the necessary arrangements for their life together in Paris. They discuss finding an apartment, purchasing household goods, and the style of the interior decorations in their new home.
The correspondence also offers a unique picture of the views of a man who played an important role in the Parisian art world of the 1880s. Theo, and his brother Vincent, amassed a great number of works which are now the core of the Van Gogh Museum collection. Finally, we are given more information about Theo's life as an art dealer in Paris, his dealings with other artists and prominent figures in artistic circles, and the vicissitudes in the fortunes of Vincent van Gogh.