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Stranger On The Earth: A Psychological Biography Of Vincent Van Gogh

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The personality of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)—a 19th-century combination of dropout, rebel, and genius—and the source of his enormous achievement continue to fascinate people as deeply as his vivid, wildly painted canvasses of sunflowers, peasants, and starry nights. In this first and only in-depth study of the relationship between van Gogh's psychological development an The personality of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)—a 19th-century combination of dropout, rebel, and genius—and the source of his enormous achievement continue to fascinate people as deeply as his vivid, wildly painted canvasses of sunflowers, peasants, and starry nights. In this first and only in-depth study of the relationship between van Gogh's psychological development and his art, Albert J. Lubin, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) at Stanford University and a practicing psychoanalyst, draws on the tremendous wealth of information available about van Gogh, to explore his personal conflicts in the context of the forces that molded him: familial, historical, cultural, religious, artistic, and literary. Dr. Lubin approaches van Gogh not as a mysterious mix of sick eccentric and martyred artist, but as a complete man who transformed his suffering into a phenomenal body of work. Lubin's daring psychological insights and art criticism allow us to better understand, and more fully appreciate, van Gogh's artistic triumph over his inner torment.


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The personality of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)—a 19th-century combination of dropout, rebel, and genius—and the source of his enormous achievement continue to fascinate people as deeply as his vivid, wildly painted canvasses of sunflowers, peasants, and starry nights. In this first and only in-depth study of the relationship between van Gogh's psychological development an The personality of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)—a 19th-century combination of dropout, rebel, and genius—and the source of his enormous achievement continue to fascinate people as deeply as his vivid, wildly painted canvasses of sunflowers, peasants, and starry nights. In this first and only in-depth study of the relationship between van Gogh's psychological development and his art, Albert J. Lubin, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) at Stanford University and a practicing psychoanalyst, draws on the tremendous wealth of information available about van Gogh, to explore his personal conflicts in the context of the forces that molded him: familial, historical, cultural, religious, artistic, and literary. Dr. Lubin approaches van Gogh not as a mysterious mix of sick eccentric and martyred artist, but as a complete man who transformed his suffering into a phenomenal body of work. Lubin's daring psychological insights and art criticism allow us to better understand, and more fully appreciate, van Gogh's artistic triumph over his inner torment.

30 review for Stranger On The Earth: A Psychological Biography Of Vincent Van Gogh

  1. 5 out of 5

    Teona

    Unfortunately this book is not based on the true facts, as I have checked on purpose the letter contents given in this book with the original ones. None of the original letters contain the word which is given in the book. For example: “Do you remember our old nurse a Zundert, Leen Veerman?” he asked Theo. “If my memory does not deceive me, Sien is that kind of person.” [Letter 201] This is a l i e. There is no Sien in the letter numbered 201.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a little dated. There are mentions of letters that eventually changed numbers as more letters were found and added as well as one of the Bedrooms at the time of this book being written that hung in the Louvre that is no longer there. I for one don’t quite see this as the book I hoped for when I read the description. Although the author shows multiple different possibilities that could have made Vincent the way he was, no matter what the main idea is it always comes with a religious b This book is a little dated. There are mentions of letters that eventually changed numbers as more letters were found and added as well as one of the Bedrooms at the time of this book being written that hung in the Louvre that is no longer there. I for one don’t quite see this as the book I hoped for when I read the description. Although the author shows multiple different possibilities that could have made Vincent the way he was, no matter what the main idea is it always comes with a religious base. In Art History, we only touched that with ‘Oh he was a religious man before he started painting’ and that is it. I had never seen any of his paintings with a religious idea or affiliation/hidden symbols, besides the ones he copied the originals of earlier artist that were religious paintings. Also, I never saw Vincent with any sort of Homosexual intention or thought. Reading other books about him, I would have never thought that one of his frustrations could have been for his conflicting feelings of possible homosexual intent. He never really came across as that, and with myself understanding the struggles of being apart of the LGBTQ+ Community, I would have never guess he may have been queer. His love and longing to be married and have children just seems way to strong for him...plus he only admired Gauguin as the artist he was, not as the person (Gauguin was often incredibly rude to Vincent and Vincent’s style of art). I love Van Gogh and his artwork and will always admirer him as one of my favorite artists of all time, and although there are some ideas I downright disagree with put forth by this author, it was still an interesting read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sommer

    Excellent biography which provided the counterpoint for much of my reading of Derek Fell's. Interesting and thorough in its considerations of the art and actions of Van Gogh it provided a suitable analysis of the complexities of the man that was Vincent Van Gogh. The organizing structure however, being non-chronological did at first provide me with some difficulty as I wasn't fully familiar with all of the periods of work for Van Gogh as well as the phases of his life. Excellent biography which provided the counterpoint for much of my reading of Derek Fell's. Interesting and thorough in its considerations of the art and actions of Van Gogh it provided a suitable analysis of the complexities of the man that was Vincent Van Gogh. The organizing structure however, being non-chronological did at first provide me with some difficulty as I wasn't fully familiar with all of the periods of work for Van Gogh as well as the phases of his life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Duha

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  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Started reading it but moved on to other books. Will have to get back to it later.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  7. 4 out of 5

    mciupin13

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Smith

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rex

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joy Lise

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kacey

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara Mejdžor

  14. 4 out of 5

    Neil Fitzgerald

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rice

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ross Mackintosh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard Stuart

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shaliny Lingeswaran

  20. 5 out of 5

    John

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mosley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patsy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie Sciberras

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica O'brien

  27. 5 out of 5

    David

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nick Kapetanakis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Stewart

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

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