Jo, on the other hand, continued to believe that the letters to Theo– in which Vincent came through as a romantic figure, an awful figure– would open his soul to America and beyond. Having actually the letters released in English was her last terrific goal.
It proved to be a race versus time. Her health was failing– she had Parkinsons disease– and the publisher she had contracted with, Alfred Knopf, wished to produce only an abridged edition, to which she would not agree. She went back to Europe and lived her ins 2015 in a large home on Amsterdams magnificent Koninginneweg and in a nation home in Laren. Her kid, Vincent, and his partner, Josina, moved close to her, and Jo discovered happiness in the hour she spent every day with her grandchildren. Otherwise, she kept incredibly fixated on her lifes mission: shipping canvases to one exhibit after another, wrangling with the publisher, all the while coping with the discomfort and other signs of her illness.
She got into a friendship-ending argument over a modest quantity of cash with Paul Cassirer, a German dealership who had actually worked carefully with her to promote van Gogh. When a romanticized novel about the van Gogh siblings appeared in German in 1921, she discovered the accurate liberties it took deeply distressing.
The first English-language edition of the letters, by Constable & & Company in London and Houghton Mifflin in the United States, appeared two years later, in 1927. It contained an intro by Jo, in which she furthered the misconception of the suffering artist and highlighted her husbands function too: “It was always Theo alone who comprehended him and supported him.” Seven years later, Irving Stone released his very popular unique “Lust for Life,” based heavily on the letters, about the relationship between the van Gogh brothers. It in turn ended up being the source material for the 1956 film starring Kirk Douglas. Already, the misconception was instilled. No less a figure than Pablo Picasso referred to van Goghs life– “basically solitary and tragic”– as “the archetype of our times.”
There was one other homage Jo paid to her brother-in-law and her husband, potentially the most impressive of all. Late in her life, while she was equating the letters into English, she organized to have Theos remains disinterred from the Dutch cemetery where he had actually been laid to rest and reburied in Auvers-sur-Oise, next to Vincent.
An other halfs digging up her hubbys remains is such a startling image it yanks one back to the central concern of Jos life: her motivation. Why, finally, did she attach herself to this cause and bring it throughout the length of her life? Certainly her belief in Vincents genius and her desire to honor Theos dreams were strong. And Luijten noted to me that in promoting van Goghs art, she believed she was likewise furthering her socialistic political beliefs.
Jos 21 months with Theo were the most intense of her life. Moving today through the museum that houses all the paintings Jo could not bear to part with, another notion surface areas: that, in committing herself utterly to Vincent van Gogh, in offering him to the world, she was keeping alive that minute of her youth, and enabling the rest of us to feel it.
Seven years later, Irving Stone released his very popular unique “Lust for Life,” based greatly on the letters, about the relationship in between the van Gogh brothers. Late in her life, while she was equating the letters into English, she set up to have Theos remains disinterred from the Dutch cemetery where he had been laid to rest and reburied in Auvers-sur-Oise, next to Vincent. An other halfs digging up her other halfs remains is such a surprising image it tugs one back to the main question of Jos life: her inspiration. Jos 21 months with Theo were the most extreme of her life. Moving today through the museum that houses all the paintings Jo could not bear to part with, another concept surfaces: that, in dedicating herself absolutely to Vincent van Gogh, in selling him to the world, she was keeping alive that minute of her youth, and enabling the rest of us to feel it.