“Vincent” by Barbara Stok: Van Gogh’s life in Arles as a graphic novel

I wanted it so much and finally it arrived: “Vincent” by Barbara Stok, the graphic novel dedicated to Van Gogh and the period he passed in Arles, in Provence.

vincent1lIt’s one of the gifts Stephen gave me for my birthday and he wanted it in italian: so he bought a hot off the press copy from Bao Publishing and we waited its travel from Italy to Northern Ireland. Unluckily it didn’t make in time for my birthday, but yesterday, finally, it was delivered.

The  graphic novel “Vincent” was illustrated by the dutch artist Barbara Stok on a commission by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and made available in Italy, as I said, by the comics specialized publishing house Bao Publishing.

The book is a short and very coloured “diary” of the last Van Gogh’s years: in 1888, helped by his brother Theo, the painter can make his dream of moving to “the South” reality, going  to paint to Arles in Provence. This isn’t the only target he has: Vincent wants to create a shared atelier, in which other painters could go to live and work all together. This is why he hosts Gauguin, whom he would want to be the atelier’s master, until his mental condition, continously worsening because of the stress for the economical condition and the constant work, isn’t making the other painter leave. After this happening, Van Gogh decides to go for some time to an institute in which someone would take care of him, and in the end he returns free for some time before his death.

Barbara Stok’s illustrations are simply fantastic: naive and in the same time full of strenght, they tell in a colourful and poetic way Van Gogh’s life events, and they’re perfect in the narration of the painter as a man and of his affectionate relationship with the brother Theo (a lot of parts of the book, on the request of Van Gogh Museum, are taken by the original mail exchange between the two), as well as in the picturing of the start and growth of obsessive disturbs and madness inside his mind.

A lot of famous artworks are transposed in comics for the occasion, and Vincent and those around him become characters inside them.

img077vbs1vincent-Barbara-Stok-selfmadehero-02A simple but powerful book, very poetic, which humanizes and makes close a great and fragile character as Vincent Van Gogh.

vincent2lYou can read a preview here.

Buy it on Amazon at this link (so you help me buying more books 🙂 ). Thank you ♡

And if you want to know something more about Van Gogh, visit this link on Artsy 😉

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