- Series: World of Art
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition (April 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 050020232X
- ISBN-13: 978-0500202326
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,107,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Van Gogh (World of Art) Reprint Edition
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From the Back Cover
Van Gogh, the painter whose work was one of the major inspirations for twentieth-century art, is given a fresh and thorough appraisal in this comprehensive new study. The author looks at the influences on his life and work and discusses his paintings in depth. Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo and other artists, particularly Gauguin, are also examined.
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Top customer reviews
There is much solid scholarship and interpretation in this book, but there are two reasons why I can't give it more than a middle-of-the-road recommendation. One is the disjointed nature of its organization, which is apparent from the comments on symbolism above. There is no reason why, in a volume of only 205 pages, one should have to cite so many different places in order to reconstruct the author's argument. But, rather than following Van Gogh's development in an organic or historical way, she has arranged the main body of her material under the four headings of "Biography," "Encounters with Art," "Van Gogh's Practice," and "Production of an Oeuvre." The result is that we retrace the painter's artistic career four times, each time from a different perspective, but always going over the same years and, frequently, the same paintings. And given Van Gogh's peripatetic restlessness, we are forever popping in and out of The Hague, Drenthen, St.-Remy, Paris, Nuenen, Antwerp, Arles, etc., etc., so the result is both repetitious and confusing at the same time, and, finally, no coherent picture of the artist emerges. My second main objection is that one potentially valuable contribution of the book is unfortunately undercut by its production. McQuillan is rightly fascinated by Van Gogh's frequent readjustment of his palette and facture, makes a number of interesting observations about that and is at pains to provide verbal descriptions of her points--but no amount of black-and-white reproduction can do justice to the subtleties of tone or impasted brushwork, and only 25 of the 168 illustrations are in color. Thames and Hudson is of course a fine art book publisher, but the "World of Art" series, in which this work has appeared, is not at the forefront of their production values. McQuillan has done a solid work of interpretive scholarship, but given her disjointed presentation and the inadequacies of the supportive illustration, the book as a whole simply doesn't rise above the average of the abundant and excellent work available on Van Gogh.