To us, Van Gogh's paintings look utterly unique. His vivid palates and wildly interpretive portraits are unmistakably his--yet however revolutionary his style may have been, it was actually built on a strong foundation of paintings by other artists, both his contemporaries and those who came before him. Now, drawing on Van Gogh's own thoughtful and often poetic comments about the artists he venerated, Steven Naifeh gives a gripping account of his deep immersion in their work. We see Van Gogh's gradual discovery of the subjects he would make famous, from wheat fields to sunflowers. We watch him copying the loose brushwork and bright colors used by Édouard Manet, experimenting with the Pointillist dots used by Georges Seurat, and imitating the powerful peasant farmers painted by Jean-François Millet, all vividly illustrated with 275 paintings by Van Gogh and a variety of other major artists, including Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, positioned side by side. Thanks to the vast correspondence from Vincent to his beloved brother Theo, Naifeh is able to reconstruct Van Gogh's artistic world from within. Observed in eloquent prose that is as compelling as it is authoritative, Van Gogh and the Artists He Loved enables us to share the artist's journey as he established his own audacious, influential, and widely beloved body of work.
Penguin Random House
Hardcover/ 448 pages