#BookReview Vincent van Gogh: The Healing Power of Nature @septemberbooks

The Healing Power of NatureAbout the Book

‘One thing I tell you, that this countryside has the effect on me of bringing me peace, faith, courage . . .’

A captivating collection of lesser-known images, chosen largely from sketchbooks and letters, The Healing Power of Nature is testament to the immense influence the natural world had on Vincent van Gogh; from the restorative, calming effect of rural landscapes to the stimulation and joy he found in natural beauty.

Each image is accompanied by an insightful quote from his letters, showing how nature is a source of great healing and inspiration to us all, connecting us with the peace and beauty of our surroundings and with a sense of something even greater.

‘. . . I console myself by reconsidering the sunflowers.’

Format: Paperback (192 pages)    Publisher: September Publishing
Publication date: 28th April 2022 Genre: Nonfiction, Art, Wellbeing

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The Healing Power of Nature

My Review

When Rachel at Rachel Quin Marketing contacted me to let me know about this book it immediately evoked memories of my visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam many years ago.  When you think of Vincent van Gogh it’s probably as a rather tortured soul but it’s clear from the excerpts from his personal correspondence contained in this beautiful little book that he found great comfort – and inspiration – from the natural world.

The book is divided into eight sections with quotations and images selected to reflect each topic. Although it was difficult to narrow it down, I’ve chosen one from each section: quotations that either resonate with me or give an insight into van Gogh’s artistic inspiration.

The Healing Power of Nature 1Connection
‘Above those roofs, one single star, but a nice, big friendly one. And I thought of us all . . .’

‘I have a terrible clarity of mind at times, when nature is lovely these days, and then I’m no longer aware of myself and the painting comes to me as if in a dream.’

The Healing Power of Nature 2Colour and Form
‘The spring is tender green (young wheat) and pink (apple blossom). The autumn is the contrast of the yellow leaves against violet tones. The winter is the snow with the little black silhouettes. But if the summer is the opposition of blues against an element of orange in the golden bronze of the wheat, this way one could paint a painting in each of the contrasts of the complementary colours (red and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet, white and black) that really expressed the mood of the seasons.’

The Healing Power of Nature 3Simplicity
‘I always find it wonderfully cosy to sit by a fire in the dusk and to look through the window at a snow-covered landscape.’

‘You enquire after my health, but how’s yours? I believe that my remedy could also be yours. Being outdoors, painting.’

‘There’s nothing more beautiful than nature early in the morning.’

The Healing Power of Nature 4Peace
‘And then, when dusk fell – imagine the silence, the peace of that moment!’

‘. . . everything changes the moment the stars come out . . .’

Vincent van GoghThe Healing Power of Nature is a work of art in itself. It’s a beautifully produced book with wonderful reproductions of some of van Gogh’s paintings, sketches and letters. (My photographs don’t do them justice.) It’s a book sure to appeal to admirers of Vincent van Gogh’s work or art in general. It also taps into the current awareness of the beneficial impact on physical and mental health of exposure to the natural world. It would make a perfect gift, best enjoyed sitting in the sunshine listening to birds singing, bees buzzing and the wind rustling the leaves of the trees.

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The Healing Power of Nature

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