Oddly enough, the most famous Dutch writer was a painter
October 8, 2009 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Vincent van Gogh's letters have been published online before, but never like this. In facsimile, when wanted. And accompanied by images of the drawings and paintings he was writing about. Sided by a weblog too.

The Vincent van Gogh Museum also have published all the letters in new translation, in a very expensive set. While they're also exhibiting the real letters, from tomorrow till 3th January 2010.
posted by ijsbrand (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
This is incredible. I could (and probably will) spend the rest of the day reading this. How fantastic is this?:
[to Theo]You won’t take it amiss if I tell you to do one thing and another. I know you have your wits about you as well. Do not think everything good, and learn to distinguish for yourself between relative good and evil; and let that feeling show you the right way with guidance from above because, old boy, it’s so necessary ‘that God dispose us’. Do write again soon with some particulars, give my regards to my acquaintances, especially Mr Tersteeg and his family, and I wish you the very best. Adieu, believe me ever,

Your loving brother

posted by ColdChef at 9:42 AM on October 8, 2009

The letters site is really slick, and dense with information. No dreaded Fl*sh, just css and javascript? Nice. Gets a [this is good]!
posted by steef at 10:20 AM on October 8, 2009

To Theo van Gogh. Auvers-sur-Oise, Wednesday, 23 July 1890
...More soon. Look after yourself, and good luck in business &c. Warm regards to Jo, and handshakes in thought.

Yours truly,

and then 4 days later he goes out and shoots himself. Not to get all "ohh art is all about pain and suffering" but his life had some damn tragic moments…and he had his brother to pull him through.
posted by ShawnString at 10:27 AM on October 8, 2009

Van Gogh's letters are well worth a read...here or in book form. The letters provide an unprecedented look into Vincent's mind and personality. I found it interesting to read between the lines... you can see how he was not well liked by those around him, probably an odd, abrasive personality, though his perception of other peoples' interactions with him is different.
posted by ecorrocio at 10:38 AM on October 8, 2009

Fantastic find. The sketches in many of the letters strike me as incredible. I've seen quite a bit of Van Gogh the painter but to see the painters mind in "pre-production" is really fascinating. Thanks.
posted by deacon_blues at 10:53 AM on October 8, 2009

It's so touching to read these letters in facsimile.
posted by jouke at 12:09 PM on October 8, 2009

I like the sketch for Letter 400.

Dear Theo,
I bought a giant waffle at Arles market today. It was a helluva job dragging it home.
Best, Vincent.
posted by raygirvan at 1:24 PM on October 8, 2009

The blog is very nice, too. I find the database a bit cumbersome to browse.
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:21 PM on October 8, 2009

Wow, this is fantastic. I have a book of letters he wrote (most of them are to Theo), but seeing the facsimiles with his handwriting somehow makes them more real and complete to me.
posted by lovermont at 3:08 PM on October 8, 2009

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