My Friend Van Gogh



ISBN: 9781644231197 Category:

Émile Bernard


An intimate testament to the power of friendship between two creative forces-available again in English after more than a century.

“I exaggerate, I sometimes make changes to the subject, but I still don’t invent the whole of painting; on the contrary, I find it ready-made, but to be untangled, in the real world.” – Vincent van Gogh

The painter and poet Émile Bernard’s firsthand account of the beloved Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh’s life offers a close perspective into the difficulties the artist faced. First published in French in 1911, and presented here in English for the first time, Bernard details van Gogh’s approach to painting, his tools, his style, his love of the medium. Moreover, he chronicles his attempts to have van Gogh’s work recognized after his death, a sign of a true friend. Shedding light on the artistic community they were part of, Bernard also discusses notable figures such as Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Émile Zola, in his storied account of his friend’s life and work.

Letters written by van Gogh to a young Bernard, some of which are included in this volume, further the import of the friendship between the two men. Van Gogh’s words of advice to Bernard as well as ruminations on his own practice, inspirations, and creative struggles are revealed in these pages.

Brought together and introduced by preeminent van Gogh scholar Martin Bailey, these texts present a sensitive and discerning portrait of van Gogh that goes beyond his reputation as a troubled genius.

Additional information

Weight 122 g
Dimensions 10.6 x 17.6 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 5 June 2024
Number of pages 96
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Introduction by Martin Bailey, Text by Vincent Van Gogh
Dimensions 10.6 x 17.6 cm
Weight 122 g


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “My Friend Van Gogh”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Émile Bernard (1868-1941) was a French painter and writer known for his contributions to Cloisonnism and his close friendships with Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, and Paul Cezanne. Bernard founded and edited the review La Rénovation Esthétique and published his correspondence with van Gogh, Gauguin, Redon, and Cezanne. His works are held in museums worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Martin Bailey is a London-based van Gogh specialist. His recent books include The Sunflowers Are Mine: The Story of van Gogh's Masterpiece, Studio of the South: Van Gogh in Provence<, Living with Vincent van Gogh: The Homes and Landscapes that Shaped the Artist, Starry Night: Van Gogh at the Asylum, and Van Gogh's Finale: Auvers and the Artist's Rise to Fame. He has curated a number of van Gogh exhibitions, most recently Van Gogh and Britain at London's Tate Britain. Bailey is a correspondent for The Art Newspaper and writes a weekly blog on van Gogh.