The meaning of the book “Lust for Life” about Vincent van Gogh from the famous Irving Stone

Author Irving Stone wrote a lot of books about outstanding people of past eras in his life. The next novel, Lust for Life, tells the story of a young and unknown artist Vincent van Gogh, who later became an icon and impressionist teacher for his contemporaries.

So today we will analyze a brief plot and the meaning of the work. Get comfortable, it will be interesting!


The story of the novel “Lust for Life” begins with the young years of Vincent. Already at the dawn of his life, he was different from other children – in public he behaved extremely seriously and restrainedly, but in the family circle he was very restless and even capricious. The artist himself later said that his life as a child was filled only with emptiness, gloom and cold.

Until the end, not understood by anyone, he enjoyed the adoration and love only of his younger brother Theodorus (Theo). Van Gogh’s youth passed in an art trading company, so the young man learned to understand and appreciate works of art.

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Visiting art exhibitions, he himself dreamed of the glory of the famous artist, but he perfectly understood what a thorny path awaited him. Therefore, at first he decided to try himself as a Protestant pastor. He was sent to a poor mining town. He zealously set to work, enlightened the working people, painted landscapes of distant Palestine for them, and visited the sick. However, Van Gogh’s next petition to improve the living conditions of the workers was rejected.

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This greatly affected his mental health. At this time, only painting saved him from isolation and depression. More and more time he devoted to creativity. Vincent believed that it was not necessary to have a huge talent from childhood to get an article for famous artists – it was enough just to work hard. Therefore, he painted around the clock to achieve the desired level of skill.

The younger brother Theo took care of the elder, helped with food, housing and the necessary consumables for work. It is noteworthy that no one believed in him. Many hours passed in arguments and discussions that turned into quarrels.

Madness gradually began to take hold of the artist, and he even inflicted injury on himself with his own hands in the next fit.

The meaning of the book

The main point of the novel is that it is never too late to start doing what you like and what you love. On the example of Van Gogh, who by nature did not have special talents, we see the story of a man who has developed a true skill in himself for hours and years of hard work. It was not for nothing that he himself said that hard work and time are able to forge masters of their craft from each person.

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Irving Stone’s book inspires contemporaries to follow their own path, which you consider right and yours. You must be prepared for the fact that few people will support this, or you will be left without support at all. However, later, if everything works out, you can proudly say that you have overcome all the obstacles on the way to the goal, and those close to you will look at you with different eyes.

Something like this happened in our history, albeit with some differences. So never give up, believe in your star and try for the good of your goal.

"Lust for life".Photo: Apple Zen

This concludes our analysis. If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to write them in the comments. We have also collected other interesting analyzes for you. Here they are:

How did the novel “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie end or how the genius of the detective succumbed to collective responsibility

The meaning of “Diamond Chariot” by Boris Akunin or how to convey the philosophy of Kogojo to the Russian

The meaning of the book “The Spark of Life” by Remarque or how nationality becomes not a boon, but a punishment in a society of crazy people

Analysis of the meaning of the novel “The Burden of Human Passions” by Maugham or the biography of an ordinary person

And that’s all we have. So have a peaceful sky over your head and see you soon on the pages of new articles!

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