Reading List | Vincent van Gogh, 1853-1890

Vincent van Gogh, Piles of French Novels, 1887


‘Reading books is like looking at paintings: without doubting, without hesitating,
with self-assurance, one must find beautiful that which is beautiful.’

 Vincent van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo, 5 August 1881

Vincent van Gogh, The Parisian Novels Or The Yellow Books, 1887

“And when I read, and really I do not read so much, only a few authors, - a few men that I
discovered by accident - I do this because they look at things in a broader, milder and more
affectionate way than I do, and because they know life better, so that I can learn from them.” 

Vincent Van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, The novel reader, 1888

 Reading List:

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol (1843)
Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1854)
Jules Michelet - L'amour (1858)
Émile Zola - L'Oeuvre (1886)
Alphonse Daudet - Tartarin de Tarascon (1887)
John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (1820)
George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life (1857)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1887)
Hans Christian Andersen, What the Moon Saw (1862)
Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (1471-1472)
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851-1852)
Edmond de Goncourt, Chérie (1884)
Victor Hugo, Les misérables (1862)
Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot (1835)
Guy de Maupassant, Bel-Ami (1885)
Pierre Loti, Madame Chrysanthème (1888)
Voltaire, Candide (1759)
Shakespeare, Macbeth (c. 1606-1607)
Shakespeare, King Lear (1606-1607)
Emile Zola, Nana (1880)
Emile Zola, La joie de vivre (1884)
The Bible

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Bible, 1885


“I have a more or less irresistible passion for books, and constantly need to instruct
myself, to study, if you will, just as I need to eat my bread.”

 Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, 24 June 1880

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Three Books, 1887


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