"There are so many people, especially among our pals, who imagine that words are nothing. On the contrary, don’t you think, it’s as interesting and as difficult to say a thing well as to paint a thing."
~Vincent van Gogh to Emile Bernard (April 19, 1888)
The Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, was largely unknown during his lifetime but is well-regarded today as one of history's greatest painters and contributors to the foundations of modern art. As famous for works like The Starry Night, as for his suffering from mental illness (i.e. that legendary ear-cutting incident), a new exhibition of the artist's letters demonstrates the method behind the madness.
_________________AMSTERDAM /Van Gogh Museum/ -- Vincent van Gogh's letters take center stage in the exhibition Van Gogh's letters: The artist speaks. More than 120 original letters are on show alongside the works that Van Gogh was writing about. These important documents have seldom or never been shown to the public due to their extreme fragility and sensitivity to light.
The combination of more than 300 works from the museum's own rich collection, including paintings, drawings, letters and letter sketches, offers a penetrating and comprehensive insight into Van Gogh as letter writer and as artist.
Van Gogh's correspondence has a special bearing on his art because of the sketches of his own work that he included in his letters. These sketches served no artistic purpose but were made with the sole intention of showing Theo and his other correspondents what the paintings or drawings he was working on or had completed actually looked like. Visitors are able to view a large number of letter sketches and enjoy the unique opportunity of being able to compare them with the paintings and drawings on which they are based.
Van Gogh's Letters: The Artist Speaks (Oct. 9, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010)
Van Gogh Museum | Website