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Printz Honor Book • YALSA Nonfiction Award Winner • Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner • SCBWI Golden Kite Winner • Cybils Senior High Nonfiction Award Winner From the author of National Book Award finalist Charles and Emma comes an incredible story of brotherly love. The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend—Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions. Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime, Deborah Heiligman weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the extraordinary love of the Van Gogh brothers.
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The general outlines of Vincent van Gogh’s life—the early difficulties in Holland and Paris, the revelatory impact of the move to Provence, the attacks of madness and despair that led to his suicide—are almost as familiar as his paintings. Yet neither the paintings nor Van Gogh’s story might have survived at all had it not been for his sister-in-law, the teacher, translator, and socialist Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Jo married the painter’s brother, Theo, in 1889, and over the next two years lived through the deaths of both Vincent and her new husband. Left with an infant son, she inherited little save a cache of several hundred paintings and an enormous archive of letters. Advised to consign these materials to an attic, she instead dedicated her life to making them known. Over the next three decades she tirelessly promoted Vincent’s art, organizing major exhibitions and compiling and editing the correspondence, the first edition of which included, as a preface, her account of Van Gogh’s life. This short biography, written from a vantage point of familial intimacy, affords a revealing and, at times, heartbreaking testimony to the painter’s perilous life. An introduction by the art critic and scholar Martin Gayford provides an insightful discussion of the author’s relationship with the Van Goghs, while abundant color illustrations throughout the book trace the development of the painter’s signature style.
Vincent & Theo van Gogh: A Dual Biography is the first English biography to chronicle the life not only of Vincent, but also of his younger brother Theo, the Paris art dealer who made Vincent's work as an artist possible. Little has ever been published about Theo, & yet, as his grandson Johan van Gogh explains in the Preface, "Without the moral & financial support of Theo, Vincent could not have produced his vast oeuvre." The monthly allowance that Theo sent his brother was, for almost ten years, Vincent's only source of income. In a letter discovered in Vincent's pocket after his death, he wrote, "My dear brother,...I tell you again that I shall always consider you to be something else than a simple dealer in Corots, that through mediation you have your part in the actual production of certain canvases, which will retain their calm even in catastrophe." Art historian Jan Hulsker has published numerous books on Van Gogh, including The Complete Van Gogh, considered to be the authoritative catalogue of Vincent van Gogh's works. In 1989 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences awarded him the distinguished silver medal for his contribution to Dutch art & literature.
Vincent Van Gogh might well have died in obscurity were it not for his brother Theo, the Parisian art dealer who was his lifelong confidant and mainstay. This is the first biography of Vincent's gifted but imprudent younger brother.
Follows the painter from his boyhood in the Netherlands to his death in France, depicting his relationship with his brother Theo, his struggles to perfect his art, and his psychological and emotional difficulties.

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