A compelling and authoritative overview of the drawings of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most celebrated and intriguing figures in the history of art.
Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) drawings are some of the most familiar and expressive in the history of art. Van Gogh believed that drawing was the ‘root of everything’, and this was reflected in his remarkable output of over 1,000 works during his short and tragic life; many of them personal, often lonely explorations of the emerging modern world.
This book is the first comprehensive account to celebrate the singularity of the artist’s achievements in this field. Arranged broadly thematically, from drawings of potato harvesters to depictions of knotted poplars, pensive studies from life to a sketch of the famous Yellow House in Arles, eminent art historian and curator Christopher Lloyd encourages readers to consider the artist’s drawings from a fresh viewpoint: documenting successes and failures, experiments, trials and disappointments. Primarily self-taught, Van Gogh’s approach to drawing was instinctual, but he soon recognized the importance of mastering the grammar of art – anatomy, foreshortening, perspective – as well as materials and techniques, in order to express his emotional responses to a subject as vividly as possible. With examples from the artist’s voluminous and emotionally charged family correspondence, sketchbooks, and comparative artworks by the Old Masters and contemporaries, this engaging study outlines why drawing is central to Van Gogh’s oeuvre, and equal to the intensity and reputation of his paintings.
Featuring works from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and many other important collections in Europe and the US, this beautifully illustrated volume offers an extensive interpretation of the artist’s drawings, beyond what has been published to date.