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Van Gogh (Masters of Art)
ISBN 0810917335 / 9780810917330 / 0-8109-1733-5
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
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No other painter better embodies the idea of the tortured artist than Vincent van Gogh. Modern-art historian Meyer Schapiro recognizes this when he states that "what is most important is that van Gogh converted all this aspiration and anguish into his art, which thus became the first example of a truly personal art, art as a deeply lived means of spiritual deliverance or transformation of the self...." What naturally follows from Schapiro is not only a synopsis of van Gogh's artistic career and personal travails, but also an insightful analysis of van Gogh's technique and handling of paint, and how they manipulate the viewer's emotional response to his paintings. With a sympathetic yet penetrating essay by Schapiro, this book is a pleasure to read for van Gogh enthusiasts of any level. The more expert art historian might prefer van Gogh's drawings, of which approximately 20 are reproduced here in black and white. It is for his paintings, however, that one admires van Gogh, and this book's 49 full-page color plates with accompanying comments by Schapiro are its strength. Van Gogh contains works from no less than 30 different worldwide collections to better represent all phases of the artist's development, and includes his most famous and best-loved works. [via]