The Yellow House: Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin Side by Side

by Susan Goldman Rubin and Jos. A. Smith

For two months in the fall of 1888, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin shared life... read more

For two months in the fall of 1888, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin shared life and art while living in Vincent’s small house in Arles, France. In anticipation of Paul’s arrival Vincent painted the house and decorated it with some of his sunflower paintings. Although the two artists had met earlier in Paris, neither realized how their great differences would become magnified while they painted in close proximity to each other. Vincent had been influenced by the Impressionists to use colors in new ways. He liked to paint what he saw outdoors immediately, using broad strokes of his paintbrush. Paul preferred to ponder and sketch what he would later slowly paint indoors, incorporating images from his imagination into his landscapes and portraits. In day-to-day living Vincent was talkative and messy, while Paul was quiet and tidy. Vincent’s emotional well-being deteriorated rapidly. This brief biographical picture story is true to the letters and other evidence of the tempestuous weeks during which each artist created lasting work. Twelve of their paintings are reproduced in the book. Smith’s watercolor and gouache artwork illustrate the time, place, and people. Rubin had access to documents used in preparation for the exhibition “Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South” at the Art Institute of Chicago during late 2001 and early 2002. Rubin and Smith’s notes about the challenge of creating this book, along with the source notes and art credits at the back of the 121/4x 91/4” volume, underscore the veracity of their sure-handed glimpse of the drama that took place in the Yellow House. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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