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Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Winner, Nonfiction
"A remarkably insightful, profoundly moving story of fraternal interdependence and unconditional love." ―Kirkus, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"A breathtaking achievement that will leave teens eager to learn more." ―School Library Journal, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"In fittingly painterly language, Heiligman offers vivid descriptions of Vincent’s artwork and life, which grow more detailed and colorful as Vincent’s own artistic style becomes richer and more refined . . . This illuminating glimpse into the van Goghs’ turbulent life and historical period will add compelling depth to readers’ understanding of the iconic painter. " ―Booklist, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"A unique and riveting exploration of art, artists, and brotherly love." ―The Horn Book, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"An intensive exploration of their turbulent lives" ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"This title is a treasure for readers who want to immerse in a roiling domestic drama and who don’t back away from a good cry" ―The Bulletin, starred review, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"Passion, intimacy and family love propel this masterful, suitably impressionistic portrait of the relationship of artist Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo. . . . thorough familiarity with the brothers’ copious correspondence; sensitivity and originality in reading it, and alertness to the imaginative afterlife of seemingly simple exchanges make this revelatory, compulsive reading. Highly recommended." ―The Toronto Star, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
"Heiligman’s writing is evocative; it is lyrical, and the scenes seem like paintings. She deftly explores the characters’ inner lives and gives insight into the attitude people of the day had about mental illness." ―VOYA, on Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
Charles and Emma:
National Book Award Finalist
"The unlikely, and happy marriage of Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgewood comes to life in Heiligman's intelligent and fast-moving book." ―New York Times Book Review
"With empathy, humor and insight, Heiligman proves the truth of the maxim that behind every great man there is indeed a great woman. There have been many Darwin-themed books published this year . . . this is clearly the best." ―NPR.org
"This is the 'wow' biography on the Darwins―meticulously researched, richly rendered and rewarding every step of the way." ―San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Deborah Heiligman has written many books for children, including National Book Award Finalist Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith and The Boy Who Loved Math. She lives with her family in New York City.
Top customer reviews
Vincent Van Gogh's life is the stuff of legend now filled with passion, creativity, and the larger-than-life personality of a man whose paintings would change the art world forever with their contributions to Post-Impressionism. Maybe you've heard about his explosive time in the Yellow House with fellow artist Paul Gauguin. Maybe you know the salacious details of when he cut off his own ear.
No one knew what the future would think of Vincent when he was a young man in the Netherlands. Vincent was known for his passions, yes. But he was also erratic, bombastic, and to put it frankly, difficult. Even Vincent's favorite brother, Theo, sometimes found him hard to take. The brothers had a lot in common. They both had red hair and neatly trimmed beards--in fact, if you look at Vincent's self-portrait and his portrait of Theo you might have a hard time telling them apart, especially when they swap hats. They wrote each other copious letters and shared a love of art. They would both die in their thirties but the legacy they left behind would last far longer.
Vincent didn't realize he wanted to be a painter until he was in his twenties--he made up for the late start with a zealous commitment to his work and a prolific output over the course of his short life. Vincent only started to get the recognition he craved near the end of his life. Even then his true genius wouldn't be recognized until years after his death.
While Vincent created the art, it was Theo who helped build the legend. Theo nurtured Vincent's talents, supported him financially, and made sure his paintings were seen in galleries that were beginning to move away from the old masters and show art in newer, brighter and more abstract styles.
Now, so many years after their deaths, it's hard to imagine a time when their lives weren't intertwined. But it wasn't always like that. It all started on a long walk to a windmill and a pledge of lifelong friendship and commitment to both each other and to their mutual work. That fateful day--the pledge, the commitment, and the companionship--would shape the lives of both brothers as they chased their passions and ambitions both together and apart over the course of their short, turbulent lives in Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (2017) by Deborah Heiligman.
Vincent and Theo is the 2017 winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.
Heiligman's latest book explores the complex relationship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh as both men tried to define who they wanted to be and to pursue their dreams. Vincent and Theo rarely lived in the same place as they grew older. But they wrote letters to each other constantly detailing their hopes, their failures, and details of their daily lives. Of course, they also talked often about art as it related to Theo's career as an art dealer and to Vincent's work as an artist.
These letters serve as a centerpiece to Vincent and Theo and tie together this story of family, friendship, devotion, and art. Short chapters and inventive formatting make even familiar information feel novel as Heiligman delves deep into Vincent's early life, his changing relationship with Theo, and his rocky journey as both an artist and a young man. Theo, the lesser known of the brothers, is shown equally as he struggles with his own demons while he searches for professional success and love.
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers reframes Vincent and Theo's lives by examining the give and take in their relationship and the ways in which the brothers influenced each other. New perspectives on key points in Vincent's life as well as detailed information about the brothers' early devotion to each other--and the previously little known painting that documents that moment--add new insights even for readers familiar with the artist and his art.
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers is a fascinating and informative story that tenderly explores the momentous and sometimes tragic lives of two of the art world's most important figures. A must read for art enthusiasts, history and non-fiction buffs, and anyone who needs a reminder that it's never too late to follow your passions.
person and the relationship with his brother. They both were extremely complicated and this made it all the more interesting.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to know about their lives.
Most recent customer reviews
This is my first amazon review... had to comment because I felt so strongly about this book.Read more