The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
The Letters of Vincent van Gogh refers to a collection of 928 surviving letters written (844) or received (84) by Vincent van Gogh. More than 650 of these were from Vincent to his brother Theo. The collection also includes letters van Gogh wrote to his sister Wil and other relatives, as well as between artists such as Paul Gauguin, Anthon van Rappard and Émile Bernard.
Vincent's sister-in-law and wife to his brother Theo, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, spent many years after her husband's death in 1891 compiling the letters, which were first published in 1914. Arnold Pomerans, editor of a 1966 selection of the letters, wrote that Theo "was the kind of man who saved even the smallest scrap of paper", and it is to this trait that we owe the 663 letters from Vincent. By contrast Vincent infrequently kept letters sent him and just 84 have survived, of which 39 were from Theo. Nevertheless it is to these letters between the brothers that we owe much of what we know today about Vincent van Gogh. Indeed the only period where we are relatively uninformed is the Parisian period when they shared an apartment and had no need to correspond. The letters effectively play much the same role in shedding light on the art of the period as those between the de Goncourt brothers did for literature.