Quite a few novels have been written about the painter Vincent van Gogh. His life is a fascinating one: in just ten years his complete work was created. In praticular the last two years of his short life were immensely productive: about one painting a day. But he did not get the credits for his achievements during his life-time. An ever-increasing number of people abondoned him and denounced him as an unruly eccentric. Only his brother Theo kept supporting him unconditionally.
In the novel 'Lust for Life' from 1934 the American Irving Stone identifies himself with Van Gogh, using as a source Theo's still existing letters. The result is a gripping story about a man who was widely misunderstood. but whose enormous creative urge resulted in the production of a unique collection of paintings- at the cost of going mad.
The novel's main charm is the description 'form the inside' of the making of several well-known paintings, such as 'The Potato Eaters' and 'Sunflowers'. Stone succeeds in making you almost feel the painter's struggle with the portraying of surly peasant faces in Nuenen or sparkling landscapes in Arles. It almost makes you wat to paint yourself. Highly recommendable, only for sale second hand.