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Bibliophile price: £9.00
Narrated by Helen Mirren on two audio CDs of 110 minutes is the story of Van Gogh's 'struggle' for recognition and the uneasy relationship he had with the notion of 'success'. Never before has anything been published about Van Gogh's sense of marketing and business or address the success he gained through dedicated struggle, and the accompanying artbook illustrates in lavish detail the success that followed his tragic death. Officially endorsed by the Van Gogh Museum and the Van Gogh Foundation Amsterdam, which houses the largest collection of his work, around 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 800 letters, the audio book offers a convincing portrayal of Vincent's development as an artist. Helen Mirren lends her magnificent voice to the narration using fragments of the original letters enabling the listener to be drawn in and find a deeper understanding of the motive that drove Vincent both as a man and an artist. There are photographs of all the chief players in his life story, his brother Theo, and friends Gauguin and Monet among them. The brilliant marketing of the work involved Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, the widow of Theo, whose infant son Vincent Willem inherited the paintings, drawings and letters by Vincent that came to Holland by the hundreds in 1891. Johanna dedicated her life to promoting the accomplishments of her late husband and her brother-in-law and organised exhibitions from 1892 onwards. Some time later she began to use the services of art dealers like Ambroise Vollard and Paul Cassirer. Others who played a role included influential art critics and other Expressionists artists who acknowledged Van Gogh as the forerunner to the new art they were aspiring to. His works soon found a place in major retrospectives of modern art. The book begins with Van Gogh's only unfinished painting of the cottages in Auvers-sur-Oise. Beautifully illustrated in colour, 144pp.

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