The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book
A fascinating introduction to Van Gogh's Life and Work
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All you need to know about Van Gogh

The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book is an accessible introduction to the life and work of Van Gogh, drawing from a vast number of letters written by the artist himself to his brother Theo, family and friends, to illustrate how he bravely faced life, art and mental illness.

If you want to gain a greater appreciation for one of the most fascinating artists of all time, this book is highly recommended.

The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book is number #1 of the series Secrets of Van Gogh, written by Van Gogh scholar Liesbeth Heenk in a conversational manner without the use of art historical jargon.
Want to read other volumes in the series Secrets of Van Gogh?

#1 The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book - Complete Van Gogh Biography for Beginners
#2 Van Gogh's Inner Struggle - Life, Work and Mental Illness
#3 Van Gogh Today: Short Stories
#4 Van Gogh in Love - a (not so!) Romantic Van Gogh Biography
#5 Van Gogh and Money - The Myth of the Poor Artist

The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book is a brief introduction to Van Gogh's fascinating life and work.

Van Gogh’s Inner Struggle is a fascinating look into the life of a tortured genius. The letters vividly show the artist's life was no bed of roses. Van Gogh acknowledged that being an artist simply involved struggle, but he believed that one would benefit from adversity, both personally and professionally. "No victory without a battle, no battle without suffering."

Van Gogh Today - Short Stories contains eight short stories of lives that were touched in some way or another by the artist. They are a reflection of the power of his story, and why Van Gogh remains a timeless inspiration to us all.

Van Gogh in Love is about the story of the artist’s longing for love and a family, exploring the lesser-known area of the artist’s romantic life. As can perhaps be expected from an artist like Van Gogh, his choice of women was unconventional. He favored more mature companions, and pursued relationships with women that were considered unsuitable.

Van Gogh and Money focuses on the artist's financial situation, a subject never explored before. Regardless of the actual amount of money he received from his brother, it becomes clear that Van Gogh was poor in the light of his ambition.


I am a Dutch art historian, author and publisher. After completing my PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, I spent thirteen years working for auction houses in London and Amsterdam. Since 2012, I work as publisher and agent.


Tragedy and Success
The black sheep of the family
A touching kind of toiling
The Hague: on the road to success?
Large, shaggy dog with wet paws
The right time and the right place?
High times and low times in Arles
The asylum in Saint-Rémy
The end in Auvers
No modern art without Van Gogh
When did Van Gogh become famous?
The letters: world literature
About the author
Further reading


Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh(1853-1890) is considered to be one of the best known and mostinfluential painters in twentieth- and twenty-first century art. His art mirrored his troubled soul, revealing a deeper perspective in theimages he transformed on canvas. He was a difficult person, a sensitivesoul, misunderstood by family and acquaintances, misunderstood byhimself as well. Much has been written about the man, his art and theinsanity that drove him eventually to his death. He lived in an era when madness and insanity was the condition applied to all manner ofillnesses not understood by the medical profession of the time,including epilepsy, which is what medical professionals now believe wasVan Gogh's affliction.

Art historian Liesbeth Heenk provides readers and art enthusiasts with a new look at this compelling and emotionally driven artist. Her book,The 1-Hour Van Gogh Book: Complete Van Gogh Biography For Beginners,outlines this artist's troubled life, discussing in some detail hisartistic output, his drawings and paintings. The book is concise andwell presented in a manner that will appeal to both art professionals as well as art enthusiasts. She traces the artist's life, his journeythrough his art, his struggles with his mental issues, and hisunexplained death, believed at the time to have been a suicide. With afew illustrations of the artist's works, the book is a quick studyguide, written in a fluid style that makes it interesting to read, evenby those not so learned in the world of art history. A great addition to the study of a fascinating artist. Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

It is a well written and accessible book, brief and to the point. We truly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about Vincent'slife, his work and legacy." - Josien and Jantine van Gogh,Theo van Gogh's great-grandchildren.

Highly Recommended! I love Van Gogh and this a very nice and readable book about his lifeand how to take a better look at his paintings. I am not an expert butthis book gives me more joy in looking at Van Gogh's paintings. It onlycost me 1,5 hour to read this book; very worthwile! - Erwin

"This publication is for people of all ages. For peoplewho want to read something easy, but interesting about Van Gogh. No heavystuff. Smoothly and enthralled, I went through it.
Years ago, I visited a restaurant in Arles. In an adjacent room,walls were filled with reproductions by Van Gogh. That was the only Van Gogh'museum' in France. But Vincent is seen as a Frenchman over there. That's howthings go..." - Antoine d'Hollosy

Well worth a read, even if you can't get to Amsterdam! I cannot in any way claim to be an "arty" person but this book makeseven me want to see these paintings, when I'm next over the water inAmsterdam. In fact, I may just hop on the ferry just to go to the VanGogh Museum (I didn't visit it last trip!)...Thanks Liesbeth for allowing me to view Van Gogh in a new light!- Philip (UK)

A little gem! Great and concise overview of how van Gogh's life influenced hisdrawings and paintings. Fluently written by an obviously expert arthistorian but very accessible for non-experts, partly thanks to theavoidance of jargon, partly thanks to the author's personalobservations.- Emma (UK)