Monday, May 7, 2007

Lust For Life

By Irving Stone

This is the novel, I saw lying with one of my friends. Since then, I was craving to read it. Its name was reason enough for my craving. Finally, after two years I got chance to read it.

The story is based on the real life story of renowned painter Vincent Van Gogh. It covers all the major phases of his life since he was adult. It tells us about his series of careers and failure in each of them. He belonged to the family of Van Gogh’s, which was reputed throughout Europe.

He started his career as a dealer in paintings at one of his uncle’s shop. Then he pursued career of priest, Evangelist, and many others. But, either he didn’t like the career or career didn’t like him. He was having many siblings, but was close to only one of them. His younger brother Theo was also a dealer in paintings, and was gaining reputation slowly and steadily in his profession. It was Theo who understood and supported Vincent’s will to do something in life.

Vincent was born in Zundert, a small village in Holland. His journey to make a painting that will sell, took him to many places-villages, towns, cities and coal mines. Though he pursued many careers at different places, but he was always painting something. He painted children, farmers, villagers, trees, sky, women and what not. Most of the times it was dilemma for him whether to buy food or paints & canvasses from the scarce amount he had. And it was always paints & canvass that was bought.

During his journey, he well in love with number of girls and women. One was his house owner, other was washerwomen, and then there was a prostitute. But he was not having any stable love life as he was not having any stable career.

Finally, he reached Paris where he was having regular supply of food and paints & canvasses together, as he was staying with Theo. He made lot of like minded painter friends who were working on modern paintings. He also, started selling few paintings.

The time when his career as a painter was almost consummate, he started getting fits of madness. His condition was so bad that he pointed gun towards one of his best friends and he cut one of his ear only to present it to one prostitute. He was sent to mental asylum, to recover. He continued his painting in asylum also. But, finally he shot himself in the fit of madness.

Such was a love of Theo for his brother, that at the peak of his youth he died to accompany his brother after few months of death of Vincent.

Today, we know Vincent Van Gogh as one of the most famous painters in the history. But, throughout his life he struggled just to be noticed, just to earn enough to sustain his living.

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