Lust for Life – Irving Stone

I fell in love with Irving Stone after reading The Agony and the Ecstasy. And with Lust for Life, in which he describes Van Gogh’s life, he became one of my favourite authors. If you are passionate about both literature and art, or if you want to learn things in both fields and have a great time, read this book.


Lust for Life - Irving Stone

Lust for Life describes the thrilling atmosphere of Paris in its post-impressionism era. While reading the development of Van Gogh, on the one hand, you can take a brief look at the lives of other painters and other leading artists of that time. Irving Stone described Van Gogh in a very balanced and pleasant way both as an artist and a human being. He wrote the book, taking into consideration the 700 letters between Van Gogh and his brother Theo. So almost everything is real. And at the end of the book, the author explains this clearly. Van Gogh’s life has been told in detail from his leaving home to become a missionary and to his death.

Lust for Life
Starry Night Over the Rhone

Lust for Life is an excellent book in every aspect. The language is very fluent, there is not even a part in the story that fails, and it makes you feel like watching a film. All of the characters are so real that you’ll find yourself thinking about them dearly. It is evident that Irving Stone did significant research for this book, and this novel could not be more realistic. The story is both enjoyable to read and extremely beautiful. It is also an invaluable resource for those who wonder about the relationships between art and artists (e.g. Manet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Pissarro, Seurat, Degas, etc.). You’ll want to read this book again and again.

Vincent van Gogh Wheat Field with Cypresses
Wheat Field with Cypresses

A genius in pain

Vincent Van Gogh, who has mercilessly changed his life with his desire to paint is a unique painter. Despite being a genius, he spent his life in poverty, illness, loneliness, sadness and hopelessness. I am curious how he would feel if he was alive now and had seen his paintings sold to astronomical figures. On this matter, Dr Who made a very legendary episode. Although I don’t like the show very much, the guy who plays Van Gogh is perfect, and just as I dreamt it, Van Gogh comes to the present and sees how his works are displayed. I couldn’t hold my tears while watching. If you are curious, you can see it here: Vincent and the Doctor.

Lust for Life - Irving Stone

Lust for Life

Lust for Life is the classic fictional re-telling of the incredible life of Vincent Van Gogh.

“Vincent is not dead. He will never die. His love, his genius, the great beauty he has created will go on forever, enriching the world… He was a colossus… a great painter… a great philosopher… a martyr to his love of art. “

Walking down the streets of Paris the young Vincent Van Gogh didn’t feel like he belonged. Battling poverty, repeated heartbreak and familial obligation, Van Gogh was a man plagued by his own creative urge but with no outlet to express it. Until the day he picked up a paintbrush.

Written with raw insight and emotion, follow the artist through his tormented life, struggling against critical discouragement and mental turmoil and bare witness to his creative journey from a struggling artist to one of the world’s most celebrated artists.


Irving Stone

Irving Stone was an American writer, chiefly known for his biographical novels of noted artists, politicians and intellectuals; among the best known are Lust for Life, about the life of Vincent van Gogh, and The Agony and the Ecstasy, about Michelangelo.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Books About Art and Artists

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