More than 800 letters written by Vincent van Gogh are putting a voice to the infamous artist, many of which he wrote to his younger brother Theo. They are being displayed in their entirety for the first time with the publication of “Vincent van Gogh—The Letters.”
The Wall Street Journal astutely notes that letters written by an artist can often be literary treasures in their own right, and never have truer words been spoken with the news that more than 800 of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh’s personal letters are being published in a “richly annotated and illustrated six-volume compendium.” While many of the letters which were received from friends and family by van Gogh have been published over the years, never before have they been seen in their entirety as they are now.
The six-volume compendium was created after each letter being “newly transcribed, painstakingly retranslated without adornment or amendment, and in some cases redated in accordance with new research. A few letters, previously unknown or fragmented, are also added to the lot.” There are brief sketches that accompany the letters, which are explained in very detailed notes.
To coincide with the publication of van Gogh’s letters, the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has erected a special exhibition, “Van Gogh’s Letters: The Artists Speaks.” This will be the largest showing of the artists work in the museum’s history and the exhibition will be woven together with 340 of his letters, sketches, drawings, prints, and paintings. The letters are projected on large floating screens in the museum and the artwork is arranged chronologically.
The letters can be viewed in the published compendium, on the Web edition, or in the van Gogh Museum exhibition in Amsterdam through January 3, 2010.
Van Gogh Museum
Through Jan. 3
Vincent van Gogh—The Letters
A six-volume compendium
Published by Thames & Hudson