Leaving Van Gogh – Carol Wallace

Leaving Van Gogh by Carol Wallace is one of the excellent novels about Van Gogh. It describes in detail the last months of the artist before his death. While we see his character and love of painting more clearly, the causes of his depression also gain more meaning.


In the summer of 1890, in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a gun. He died two days later, at the age of 37. He did not know that his paintings would be among the most famous paintings in the world. And he had no idea that he would be immortal.

Leaving Van Gogh - Carol Wallace

Dr Gachet and Van Gogh

Leaving Van Gogh tells the story of this wonderful painter with a new perspective; from his personal doctor Dr Gachet. Dr Gachet was an art lover and liked to paint. He was specialized in mental illness and tried to help Van Gogh in his last months. We see Van Gogh from a perspective we’ve never looked before. In the eyes of our narrator, Van Gogh, is a very attractive puzzle. The painter, whose mind is disturbed abundantly by demons, can also be a potential success in terms of Gachet’s career. Van Gogh, who we know was friendly with the doctor’s family, was not only a patient but also a friend for him.

As the two men get to know each other a lot more, questions arise. If Gachet was such a good doctor, why did Van Gogh roll so fast into a depression that would lead to his death? The book brings with it an important question that is still unanswered; Where did a man in need of money as much as Van Gogh find the weapon that caused his death?

If you want to learn more about Van Gogh or read a lovely novel, this is it. I’m sure art lovers will enjoy this one very much.

Leaving Van Gogh - Carol Wallace

Leaving Van Gogh

In the summer of 1890, in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver.  He died two days later, at the age of thirty-seven, largely unknown despite having completed over two thousand works of art that would go on to become some of the most important and valued in the world.

In this riveting novel, Carol Wallace brilliantly navigates the mysteries surrounding the master artist’s death, relying on meticulous research to paint an indelible portrait of Van Gogh’s final days—and the friendship that may or may not have destroyed him. Telling Van Gogh’s story from an utterly new perspective—that of his personal physician, Dr. Gachet, specialist in mental illness and great lover of the arts—Wallace allows us to view the legendary painter as we’ve never seen him before.  In our narrator’s eyes, Van Gogh is an irresistible puzzle, a man whose mind, plagued by demons, poses the most potentially rewarding challenge of Gachet’s career. 

Wallace’s narrative brims with suspense and rich psychological insight as it tackles haunting questions about Van Gogh’s fate. A masterly, gripping novel that explores the price of creativity, Leaving Van Gogh is a luminous story about what it means to live authentically, and the power and limits of friendship.


Carol Wallace

Carol Wallace is the great-great-granddaughter of Lew Wallace. Author of the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ which was first published in 1880. She has written more than twenty books, including most recently a historical novel, Leaving Van Gogh. She is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller To Marry an English Lord, an inspiration for Downton Abbey. Carol holds degrees from Princeton University and Columbia University.

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Books about Art and Artists

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