Incorporating recent discoveries about Vincent Van Gogh's life and work, including the only photograph of him as an adult, this updated biography investigates the creativity, successes, and frustrations of one of the world's most famous painters. With evidence accumulated from Van Gogh's European life, from Belgium, the Netherlands, England, and France, this illuminating account reveals sources of his unhappiness, terrible childhood illnesses, personal relationships, and even introduces his possible grandchildren. Fully illustrated with more than 70 photographs and art reproductions, these new facts show the seeds of Van Gogh's inspiration and shine light on one of the most enigmatic figures of 19th-century art. Ken Wilkie has followed van Gogh’s trail around Europe for thirty years.
Along the way Ken Wilkie has discovered the identity of Van Gogh’s first love in London and the house they shared together in Brixton and uncovered evidence of the disease that led to the deaths of both Vincent and Theo Van Gogh. Following his journalist’s nose Ken Wilkie finds a trail of clues Van Gogh left behind, which prompts his many adventures, fortunate meetings and accidental discoveries. Ken Wilkie gets as close to Van Gogh’s presence as it is possible, from meeting his nephew who grew up sleeping in a bed that had Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings piled underneath to meeting the widow of a man who shared a flat with the Van Gogh brothers in Paris. Through meeting those whose lives have intersected with Van Gogh’s we meet Vincent Van Gogh the man and artist, freed from the myths that have been created around him.
Wilkie builds up a portrait of Van Gogh, finding the sources of his unhappiness and discovering the seeds of his inspiration. The secrets of Van Gogh’s life are exposed, the possibility of the sexually-transmitted disease he suffered from, the masochistic torment Vincent went through as a missionary among Belgium’s coalmines as we journey through Van Gogh’s life, through Europe, in the shadow of the most enigmatic figure of modern art.