Van Gogh was a creative genius and a complex human being. 'The Life and Works of VAN GOGH' by Michael Howard is a wonderful book which describes his life and art by putting his paintings into the context of his life. We find out where he was living and how he was creating his art through reference to the large number of letters he wrote to his brother Theo. There are 280 pictures of his paintings included. They show the influences of the artists who inspired him, including Rembrandt, Gauguin and Millet. Van Gogh's development as an artist from his early tonal pieces in Holland, through the influence of Impressionism and Pointillism and culminating in his rich and vivid expressive paintings at the end of his life are described along side his development as a human being. In his early life he followed his father's footsteps into religion. He became a successful art seller and had disastrous relationships with women. He exposed himself to many artistic influences in Britain, France and Holland and gradually became subject to mental health problems which led to him being hospitalised and eventually committing suicide. This book gives a really good feel of Van Gogh, the man and artist.