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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Book Review: Theo van Gogh

We read a lot about Vincent van Gogh and his relationship with his brother, but not much is said about Theo and his personal life and how his interactions with Vincent affected him. In Theo van Gogh: Art Dealer, Collector and Brother of Vincent Chris Stolwijk and Richard Thomson have brought Theo out of the shadows into the light of his own accomplishments. The book was published in connection with an exhibition at museums in Amsterdam and Paris of works Theo Van Gogh bought, sold and/or collected and is lavishly illustrated with many of these works, including Vincent's, as well as a photographs of principal players in the lives of both men. In spite of Vincent's rantings, Theo never failed him in his support. Both were ahead of their time, Vincent with his art and Theo with his recognition of the emerging artists of the time. Sadly, Theo lived less than a year after Vincent took his own life. The scholarly essays included in this exhibition catalog are great reading and the artwork shows what an eye Theo had for quality in the new art of his day.

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Blogger Alexander Barnett said...

I am the writer,director of the just released film, 'THE EYES OF VAN GOGH.' The film shows the untold story of the horrific year that Vincent spent at the insane asylum of St.Remy.

The day Vincent was buried, theo collapsed at the graveside. Shortly after returning to Paris his brain gave way.Ten weeks later he was found dangerous to his family and confined to a private hospital. Eventually his wife Johanna took him to Holland, but he never regained his sanity, and he died there on Jan. 25, 1891, six months after Vincent's suicide. Some say he died from complications brought on by syphillis or nephritis. No. These things merely contributed to his death. Theo died of a broken heart.

Many years ago I visited the graves of Theo and Vincent, where they lie side by side in the little cemetery at Auvers-sur-Oise. Someone had written on the back of Vincent's tombstone 'We love you.' On theo's tombstone nothing. How terribly unfortunate, to thank the creator but no words for Theo, who never stopped believing in him and who enabled him to do his work.
For more background on Vincent, check my website, www.theeyesofvangogh.com

4:33 PM  

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