Member Reviews

A superb biography of the artist Vincent Van Gogh written from the perspective of his sister-in-law. Great for fans of Vincent (the movie), budding art students, or kids aged middle school and older. Trigger warning: mention of sex, mental health issues, substance abuse, and suicide. Illustrations are mesmerizing and the format is quite unique. A novel work that would also serve as a great coffee table book were it not for the beautiful, heart-wrenching tragedy that it contains. A beautiful tribute to a tortured soul who left only his textured paint strokes and letters behind to tell his tale.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Quatro Publishing for letting me share my honest opinions of this eBook.

It was good to read this, almost 6 years ago I read A Memoir Of Vincent van Gogh by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger , whereafter I would looked at Vincent’s work differently.

I like how this graphic biography puts Jo van Gogh-Bonger and Theo van Gogh at center stage of Vincent van Gogh.

Jo van Gogh-Bonger was married to Vincent’s brother, Theo van Gogh, who passed away 6 months after Vincent from natural causes. When in 2018 I read Jo’s memoir of Vincent I realized Vincent’s art would have been long forgotten if it had not been for Jo and Theo.

The format of this is like a graphic novel that tells the story of Vincent’s life from Jo’s perspective, it’s a quick or very quick read, except I took weeks, reading this got me looking through my art books, Jo’s memoir and Vincent’s letters.

Simon Elliot’s book goes beyond Jo’s memoir, and continues after Vincent and Theo’s death. Elliot doesn’t just tell the story of Vincent’s life and art but also notes Jo’s efforts of promoting Vincent’s art.

Once again, I am left with complete admiration for Jo: her knowledge of art was limited, and I’m thinking, like the art and art critics mentioned in this book, the galleries she approached were also run by men. This is the 1890s, for her to succeed shows her truly amazing strength in character.

I’m glad I read this, it’s nice Jo van Gogh-Bonger (along with Theo) is remembered here.

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The sadness lives forever....

This book wasn't engaging at the start but towards the end, it was actually quite good. The depiction of Van Gogh's mental issues brought tears to my eyes, redeeming what could have otherwise been a subpar book. Probably not the best biography of the troubled artist but it wasn't a total disaster.

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This is a really delightful look at one of the most dynamic painters in Western art. The art style is very Van Gogh inspired which really added to the reading experience.

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a quick read about the life of vincent van gogh, i wish the artist had more time polishing most of the artworks in this book because they all looked rushed. i don't know if that was the intention, but it just didn't look final.

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Pretty good. I wanted to learn more about Van Gogh and I absolutely love his paintings, so this didn’t disappoint!

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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC in exchage of an honest review,

My first time with a Graphic Biography, and although I knew a lot about Van Gogh, his life and works, this was an interesting and different way of reading about him as we are told this from his sister-in-law's pov, and the type of drawing I fancied so much, it is so appealing to the eye.

I would have loved for some of Vincent's actions which were heavily related to his mental health to be explicitly explained in that way. I feel like this read would be more liked by people who maybe do not know so much about him, than people who have read other works and hve informed themselves from other sources. However, as I said, it portrays a different pov which can be enlightening in some aspects.

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Thank you to NetGalley for giving me access to this book
This book brought a lot of insight to me about Vincent Van Gogh the artist because I have always known his name as we learnt about him in art class and what not but I have never gotten like a full breakdown of his life before and how he became a world renowned artist. You know in history people tended to love to leave out the part about the community around successful people not understanding that those people wouldn’t have been successful without the community around them , I had never once heard of Jo , Theo’s wife neither had I heard about their son Vincent but I am happy that I know now , as someone who is fan of seeing how art changed and progressed over the years this was such and enlightening read for me and I would recommend if you are interested in knowing more about the life that Vincent Van Gogh lived

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I've always been enthralled by Vincent van Gogh's artwork and story. As such, I think I've read over a dozen biographies about the artist (no, really; I'm pretty sure my family preorders every new one that comes out, knowing it'll make a good gift for me). So, obviously, I had to nab Vincent: A Graphic Biography while I had the chance!

In truth, I'm a bit confused by some of the choices behind Vincent: A Graphic Biography. The perspective is an odd choice, a series of letters written by Jo van Gogh-Bonger (Vincent van Gogh's sister-in-law).

Another odd choice is the art style. While some of the color palettes match van Gogh's style, the artwork itself does not. Now, I know that is a HUGE ask, so I'm not going to dock a ton of points for this, but it was a little disappointing/jarring.

Overall, I'd say that Vincent: A Graphic Biography is a decent biography. It's a solid starting point if you're looking to learn more about Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh Biography
Art History in Comic Form

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This was a decent graphic novel and did a good job moving through the artists life told through the point of view of his sister in-law.

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I’m not sure who this book is for. The drawing and writing level would lead me to believe this is a middle grade graphic bio, but the content within both greatly dissuades me from that notion. The art didn’t captivate me, which I think is a greater offense if you decide to make a graphic biography for an artist. The writing itself felt very superficial.

Writing from the point of view of Vincent’s sister-in-law is an interesting choice but created one fatal flaw: romanticizing his toxic behavior. I love Vincent Van Gogh’s work and have since I was a child, but he was someone who struggled with mental health, did not get the support he needed, and there were consequences for that. You can’t dismiss him stalking a woman he said he was in love with as “passion.”

I would absolutely love to see a more detailed graphic biography of Vincent Van Gogh with more appropriate artwork to the subject matter and a realistic take on his actions.

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This was an interesting take on Vincent Van Gogh's life and death. Told from the perspective of Vincent's sister-in-law, Jo, it explains Vincent's struggles in life and Jo's struggles to achieve Theo and Vincent's goals for Vincent's work. Touching and heartbreaking, the images lend to a more evocative and emotional story.

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This short biography of Vincent Van Gogh is told from the POV of his sister-in-law Jo. I wasn’t really aware until now what a pivotal role she played in preserving Van Gogh’s paintings and willing his legacy into being. The illustrations captured the spirit of Van Gogh’s struggle and his artwork while still maintaining their originality.

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I think I first encountered the work of Vincent Van Gogh when my parents took me and my sister on yearly trips to Chicago, always visiting the Chicago Art Institute. My mother's favorite area was the museum's great Impressionist works, where I would see Van Gogh's paintings--his angular bedroom, his self portraits, his fields and flowers and so on. Then in high school there was Don McLean's"Vincent": "I could have loved you, Vincent; this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you."

I also in high school read Irving Stone's popular Lust for Life about him and over the years read much about him, many biographies; I have collections of his art work, and as I still live in the Chicago area I go there from time to time. When I was in Amsterdam in the seventies I visited the Van Gogh museum for the first time. I was, as millions have been, intrigued, fascinated by his story of genius and madness. At one time I read a selection of the Theo-Vincent letters.

So I wasn't expecting to learn anything new here, just dipping into a familiar story. Simon Elliot draws on works he cites in the appendix, including a biography of Jo, Vincent's loving brother Theo's wife, an unassuming English teacher who became forever known to and thanked by the art world for promoting Vincent's art work in Europe and the US. The story is told from her perspective, showing us the familiar aspects of his life--his massive production in spite of his life being cut short by suicide and impeded by psychiatric struggles, religious obsession, crazy fixations on various women, connections to other artists, and especially, his close relationship to Theo. Theo also died young, heartbroken about his brother's death,. They named their son Vincent, who joined his mother in promoting his uncle's artwork everywhere.

This is not a graphic novel, but a beautifully illustrated biography, straightforward story, great painting of a painter's life.

Don McLean's "Vincent":

Thanks for the early look from artist and author Simon Elliot (nice work, man!), the publisher Frances Lincoln/Quarto and Net Galley. The book's official pub date is August 4, 2024.

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This book made me emotional. I had been to Van goghs exhibition in London but I did not know about his life so closely. The authentic storyline and Vincent’s characteristics are so well portrayed by his sister in law. I really want to go to the museum now. Excellent graphic novel I have read recently. All the artwork was so vibrant and well represented. I think it’s a very well compiled book.

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Vincent: A Graphic Biography is a beautifully illustrated in depth telling of the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh. The book was filled with a ton of great information that gave a lot of insight into the pain and mental anguish that Vincent endured. The illustrations were perfect and really helped to tell the story in a meaningful way!

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I really enjoyed this graphic biography! As a longtime fan of Vincent Van Gogh's work, I went into this with fairy high expectations. I think I expected the artwork to mirror the work of Vincent Van Gogh's style a little bit more, so I was initially a smidge disappointed. By the time I finished this though, the artwork had grown on me.

Thank you so much to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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This was not really great, but it was fairly informative and narrated from a unique perspective. There was plenty of text, which was a bit dry, but also taught me a lot about Van Gogh's life. I thought that the graphic style was interesting, but not really outstanding in any specific way. The colours were also rather too strong on some pages.

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Firstly, a huge thank you to the publisher, the author, Simon Elliott, and NetGalley for the privilege of being able to read a digital copy of this beautiful graphic novel about Vincent Van Gogh, "Vincent: A Graphic Biography." I will also be posting my review to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I thought the story revealed so many new things I had not known about Van Gogh (I did not know too much about his bio before reading) and art of the time in general. His personal story and mental health struggles are so important, and I'm sorry it took so long for me to learn more about the artist himself.

I thought the art was an incredible tribute to Van Gogh, and there were so many beautiful illustrations that drew you into his story. I think making it into a graphic biography was a very fitting medium for this story, and I'm glad that's how it was made. I have to say that I was a bit confused about the intended age target, as some of the writing felt a bit targeted towards middle grades but included topics that would be more appropriate for high school or older. Overall, I was impressed and learned a lot. I would look into more by this author and for more graphic bios in general. I might even buy a few physical copies of bios focused on people I was particularly a fan of to add to my collection, especially if the cover is as beautiful as this one.

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Thanks to the publisher Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion/ Frances Lincoln and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest book review.

An extremely detailed and beautifully illustrated biography of the artist Vincent Van Gogh told from the perspective of his sister-in-law Jo van Gogh-Bonger. The illustrations in the graphic novel imitate very well Gogh’s real paintings. I didn’t realise before reading this that it was only due to the work of his sister-in-law that he garnered the worldwide recognition that he so deserved. I obviously knew something of his troubled life but did not know the depth of the problems he experienced before reading this.

I really enjoyed reading a biography in this graphic novel format, it was such a quick engrossing read.

I would absolutely recommend this book to people interested in art and history.

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