Vincent: A Graphic Biography

A Graphic Biography

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Jun 27 2024

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'I know for sure that I have an instinct for color, and painting is in the very marrow of my bones'

The life of Van Gogh has gone down in legend as the archetypal artist’s existence. He was irascible and short-tempered, hugely passionate and emotional, absurdly talented and, for most of his lifetime, notoriously misunderstood and under-appreciated. And yet today, we see him as one of the most inventive, influential and admired painters of the entire Western canon, if not a genius.

Taking us through his short but explosive life, this graphic novel paints a vivid picture of Van Gogh’s unusual youth, his famous early failures, his discovery of a new style of painting, his tragic suicide, and the meteoric artistic legacy that followed.

For those looking for an introduction to this incredible artist, or searching for a fresh take on his story – this is Vincent Van Gogh’s life as you’ve never seen it before.
'I know for sure that I have an instinct for color, and painting is in the very marrow of my bones'

The life of Van Gogh has gone down in legend as the archetypal artist’s existence. He was irascible...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780711294967
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 95 members

Featured Reviews

Loved this graphic biography of Vincent Van Gogh and how his sister-in-law worked so hard to honor both his ands brother's memories.

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This was an interesting read. The information was presented neatly and flowed well. The illustrations were helpful in creating a visual narrative of Vincent. My son who doesn’t like to read sat down and finished it in one shot. The illustrations also seemed to fit Vincent’s personal styles, the artwork that was included from his own work blended well with the art of the illustrator. Whether that was intentional or not I don’t know but I love the little details like this.

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This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The second half of it presents the life of Van Gogh through his own letters as imagined to be interpreted by Jo, his sister-in-law. Readers get to see the depth of emotions experienced by Vincent, his brother Theo and Jo, his sister-in-law. When you feel so much for the world around you, you will see them in such depth that it can be tormenting. And maybe that is why his art is so moving and why the world was just too much for him.

The colour palette used in the book also changes to reflect the change in Vincent's art style in different stages of his life.

If you like his art, get this book.

I will get multiple copies of it as presents for my students.

Thank you for giving me the chance to preview such a moving book.

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As someone who has always been interested in Van Gogh, I found this book fascinating. It was beautifully written. I love that this biography is written in the form of a graphic novel. I think the illustrations are well done and help to enhance the story. I learned so much from this book. I had no idea how important Van Gogh’s sister-in-law was to bringing his works to the masses. I also never knew about the bond he shared with his brother. His life really is a tragic story, which was very sad to read. However, it was inspiring that through all the tragedy, he was able to create such artistic masterpieces. The author did an amazing job accurately portraying Van Gogh’s life with such detail from the perspective of his sister-in-law. This was clearly a well-researched book. I would highly recommend this book.

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I just read this amazing biography of Vincent Van Gogh by Simon Elliott. As someone with a mental health condition and a fan of Van Gogh, this brought Vincent's entire life to light. I especially enjoyed the way the story was told and learning about what happened after Vincent died. I will be buying this when it comes out.

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I’m not an artist, although my daughter-in-law is, and I’ve had several friends throughout my life who are also artists, but ever since I was very young I was obsessed with art. My mother and her mother were both artists, although not anything close to artists like Vincent van Gogh.

My freshman year in school, those of us who chose to take art classes were blessed with a wonderful art teacher who encouraged us to look beyond the ‘real’ and paint beyond the proverbial lines with our heart as well as our eyes.

This shares the life of Vincent van Gogh, his struggles with sadness and depression, and how that affected him as an artist. And his internal struggles with being misunderstood as an artist, as well as just a man wanting to be seen and accepted, which, unbelievable from our perspective, he was not. This lack of acceptance added to his depression which worsened over time. He struggled to find a balance in his life, and was plagued by his own demons, but through the blessing of his family, he was also given love. And that love carried on when his sister-in-law decided the world needed to see, to know, and to feel the emotions, the beauty that is there in his art.

Vincent: A Graphic Biography is written and illustrated by Simon Elliott, shares the lives of both Vincent van Gogh, his brother, Theo, as well as the woman who made sure that they would be remembered.

Pub Date: 06 Aug 2024

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion / Frances Lincoln

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Gorgeous illustrations bring famed artist Vincent Van Gogh to stunning life! I enjoyed the graphic format and found that I learned a great deal about this often misunderstood artistic genius. Highly recommended!

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My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion for an advance copy of this new biography of an artists whose stories are known just as much as the art he created, all told in a graphic novel style.

As a person who is only happy when it rains, I have long wondered about the correlation between mental health and art. Many of the artists that have brought me such joy over the years, be in in the arts, photography, music, literature, essays, movies actually anything creative, all dealt with issues like depression, paranoia, flying to extremes, or even self harm. Is it the fear of eternal sadness, that nothing will change that makes ana artist see something, hear something different, and go, wait, I can hang on a few more minutes if I just get this down. What do they see that makes a starry night, a cafe, a family eating potatoes seem so vibrant, powerful and full of life. And makes them go one more day trying to find more. Vincent van Gogh had many demons that he dealt with, but van Gogh also had a gift for art, and the blessing of a family that loved him, and wanted his art to shine, long after the artist stopped. Vincent: A Graphic Biography written and illustrated by Simon Elliott looks at the life of both Theo and Vincent van Gogh, and the woman who never stopped trying to keep both men legacy alive.

Vincent and his brother Theo van Gogh were brothers of the closest type, we learn from Theo's wife Jo van Gogh-Bonger, who was also Vincent's sister-in-law. Jo in a very short time lost both her brother-in-law and her husband, leaving her with a very stark looking future, and inheritance of paintings and thousands of words between the two brothers. Jo felt as strongly as Theo did about the art of Vincent. It was important, it was necessary and it needed to be seen. So Jo did so taking boarders for money, and using that money to share the life, art and letters of Vincent and Theo. We learn about the two men from her point of view, sharing their family, steps out in the world, and soon for Vincent, the world stepping back on him. Vincent had a courtship that was not reciprocated, starting the first of many actions that people would call over the top. Vincent's path to find himself, along with Theo's entry into the art business, helping other artists, while always helping Vincent. Readers learn about Vincent's interest in art, his skill, and his repeated bouts of madness, which led to his sad end. And Theo's death a short time later, from illness, and melancholy at the loss of his brother.

Graphic novels are an underutilized tool in telling the lives of people. One that many are starting to use to tell their stories. This is a very good look at the life of an artist, who is probably known for his self mutilation as much as for his art. Which is a shame. Vincent had problems, problems that Elliot does his best to explain and share, but will always remain a mystery, as will Vincent's end. Using Jo as narrator was a great idea, as she is removed from the story unlike Theo, but is able to share much information, and did care for Vincent, no matter what he did to Theo. The art really compliments the story. Neither slavish devotion nor a comic book look, but a nice use of colors, solid forms, and a real love and knowledge for the subject.

A book that really covers the life of the artist and would be age appropriate for teens and up. There is a little discussion about sexual activity, but the story, the art and the information is worth a little discomfort.

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This book simply is a biography about Vincent Van Gogh. I really enjoyed reading about Van Gogh in a graphic novel format. I enjoyed the artwork (not just Van Gogh's) throught the book. I would say this is a must-have for anyone who is a fan of Van Gogh!
Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this ARC!

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