Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah HeiligmanThe deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend, Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions. Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime, Deborah Heiligman weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the love of the Van Gogh brothers.
In the heat of the summer in , Vincent van Gogh stumbled into his boarding house in rural Auvers-sur-Oise , outside of suburban Paris. He was bleeding, clutching his torso. He made it upstairs to his spartan room, took to his bed, and died two days later. Only 37 years old, he had shot himself in the chest, ultimately succumbing not to the initial wound, but to the resulting infection from the lodged bullet. His suicide was a surprise to some, having spent the previous months madly spitting out canvas after canvas of the bucolic countryside. He was buried, the day after he died, in the village public cemetery.
The son of a minister, van Gogh started working at age 16, when his uncle got him a job as a trainee with an art dealership in The Hague. Afterward, he worked briefly as a schoolteacher in England then at a bookstore back in the Netherlands. In , he went to the Borinage, a mining district in Belgium, and worked among the poor as a lay preacher. His next career choice, artist, would of course make him internationally famous, although not until after his death. In , the Dutchman, who was primarily a self-taught artist, returned home to the Netherlands, where he devoted himself to drawing and painting. His younger brother Theo, an art dealer, helped support him financially and emotionally. In , van Gogh went to live with Theo in Paris, and his two years in the French capital proved pivotal.
The bronze statue was unveiled by Queen Juliana on 28 May The statue is approximately 2. It depicts two men standing on a thick square bronze base plate, mounted on a low square stone plinth. The attenuated figures have similar modelling to Zadkine's statue De verwoeste stad "The devastated city" in Rotterdam. The figures stand close together, intertwined, holding hands and leaning their heads together, although neither figure closely resembles the person it is intended to represent. The 0.
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Adventures with Van Gogh is a weekly blog by Martin Bailey, our long-standing correspondent and expert on the artist. Published every Friday, his stories will range from newsy items about this most intriguing artist to scholarly pieces based on his own meticulous investigations and discoveries. Theo, in the top hat, is talking with his brother, who sits with his arms crossed in a rather defensive pose. Lucien, the son of the Impressionist painter Camille, sketched the two men in Paris in Lucien, who died in , never displayed the drawing during his lifetime.
Read about my research for the book. Theo, his younger brother: steady, constant, dependable, yet lonely. For the past five years I immersed myself in the lives of Vincent and Theo van Gogh. I hope you enjoy walking alongside Vincent and Theo on their journey of love, loss, and towering achievement. Read my acceptance speech. Watch my acceptance speech:.