Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors

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ISBN: 9781903278772
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Vincent van Gogh has become one of the best known and best loved artists in the history of art, but he is said to have sold only a single painting in his entire life. An extraordinary figure, whose art and life were inextricably and tragically intertwined, he is seen by many as the archetypal misunderstood, tormented genius. Astonishingly, he was only active as an artist for some ten years during which time his style changed dramatically from the dark realist work of his early Dutch years, via the lessons he learned in Paris from Impressionism, to the highly disturbing work of his last period with its writhing brushwork and febrile colours. In his own day, he remained relatively unacknowledged outside a small circle of admirers, his cause not helped by his difficult and unpredictable character. This book examines the fascinating story of how his work gradually came to be appreciated and collected in Britain a country in which he lived albeit unhappily, from 1873 to 1875, whose primary language he spoke and wrote fluently, and whose literature he greatly admired. In focusing on this early taste for the artist, the book uncovers important new, and unpublished, research on the collectors and on the British interest in Van Gogh.

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