Nearly one hundred and twenty years after his death, Vincent Van Gogh continues to exert a powerful fascination. This book offers the reader a selection of the artist's most unforgettable canvases as well as some lesser-known examples, many drawn from the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It explores the works in the context of Van Gogh's short but brilliant career, in which frequent spells of isolation did not preclude lively engagement with his artistic peers and the ideas of his time.
Van Gogh's brush was guided by a remarkable, restless and wide-ranging intelligence which found its other outlet in the continuous stream of letters written to family and friends, and the artist's correspondence - one of the most important archival resources of 19th-century art - provides the narrative thread around which this study develops. Belinda Thomson considers Van Gogh as a cosmopolitan figure who combined in his art experiences and traditions absorbed in his native Holland and in Victorian England, and then succeeded in assimilating and making his mark upon the practice of painting in France at one of its richest periods.