Book of letters celebrates Van Gogh

By Yang Yang ( ) Updated: 2016-02-04 15:29:24

Book of letters celebrates Van Gogh

Cover of Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890. [Photo provided to China Daily]

There are many questions about Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh left unanswered: Was he really mad? What was he thinking when he was painting? What did he think of his madness? Why did he kill himself?

Many movies, documentaries and books have been devoted to interpret his short but great life.

The year 2015 was the 125th anniversary of the death of the artist. Many Chinese publishers released books in memory of him, and Van Gogh's Letters: The Mind of the Artist in Paintings, Drawings, and Words, 1875-1890 by Beijing United Publishing is one of them.

The book includes a selection of Van Gogh's letters from 1875 when he was 22 until 1890, just before he died.

Sitting at a small meeting room at Yanjiyou bookstore in Zhongguancun, Beijing, three of the four translators talk about the book. All of them are lovers of Van Gogh and his paintings.

Most of Van Gogh's 903 letters were written to his younger brother Theo, and this book contains more than 150 carefully chosen letters.

All the letters had been edited, says Yuan Yuan, one of the translators.

"When we were translating the book, we checked the original versions of these letters which are usually longer. The parts about asking his brother Theo for money are deleted, and in almost every letter, he asked for money," says Wang Ying, another translator.

Along with the letters, the book also contains more than 250 copies of the artist's manuscripts and drafts.

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