Van Gogh


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The Birth of an Artist

Edited by Sjraar van Heugten; With contributions by Marije Vellekoop, Leo Jansen, Bart Moens, Pierre Tilly, Pierre-Olivier Laloux, Bruno Vouters, and Marcel Daloze

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An unprecedented, in-depth exploration of the dawn of Van Gogh’s artistic career

In 1878, at age 25, Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) arrived in the area of Belgium known as the Borinage to work as a Protestant evangelist in rural coal mining communities. He failed in that vocation, and after months of soul-searching, in August 1880, he decided to become an artist. This fascinating publication is the first to examine in depth Van Gogh’s time in the Borinage and his artistic development in the following years, when he created his works that in many cases have direct ties with this early period.
Vivid essays tell the story of Van Gogh’s life in the mining communities, and the effect this environment had on his way of thinking and seeing the world. Augmenting the text are letters Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo from the Borinage, in which he describes his desire to sketch, and drawings that he modeled after prints of masterworks by artists such as Jean-François Millet. Other essays trace Van Gogh’s development as an artist in subsequent years, including his move to Brussels to fully pursue life as an artist. Thought-provoking examinations of works that Van Gogh completed after leaving the Borinage demonstrate how motifs that he developed there—rustic dwellings, laborers, agriculture, nature—became themes that spanned his entire oeuvre.  

Distributed for Mercatorfonds and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mons, Belgium

Exhibition Schedule:

Foundation Mons 2015, Belgium 

Sjraar van Heugten is former head of collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and an independent art historian.


Foundation Mons 2015, Belgium 

ISBN: 9780300212129
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publishing Partner: Distributed for Mercatorfonds and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mons, Belgium
264 pages, 10 x 11 1/2
230 color illus.
Ever Yours

The Essential Letters

Vincent van Gogh; Edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten, and N

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Van Gogh and Nature

Richard Kendall, Sjraar van Heugten, and Chris Stolwijk

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Through Vincent's Eyes

Van Gogh and His Sources

Edited by Eik Kahng; With contributions by Todd Cronan, Dav

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Vincent van Gogh: Matters of Identity

Yves Vasseur; With an introduction by Sjraar van Heugten an

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