""Through a glass, darkly" is the biblical phrase that Vincent van Gogh borrowed in a letter to his mother, Anna Cornelia, when reflecting on his clouded perception of those closest to him. Painting, on the other hand, was a more certain venture. Van Gogh's relationship to the object is tirelessly recounted in a number of paintings and drawings that privilege an intimacy between viewer and viewed. The close examination of objects in nature was one first explored in his youth. These early efforts and their subsequent development are here considered through the spirit of adventure suggested by Lewis Carroll's imaginative novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871), focusing on the artist's childhood imagination and passion for nature, flowers and insects and the element of wonder and spontaneity in his work. The "enlarged" and detailed viewing and distortions in scale that Alice experiences in both novels provides a way in which to approach Van Gogh's imagery that reflects the "close-up" view. Considered in four parts, with titles drawn from Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, this thematic overview centers around the concept of the close-up and considers the impact of various developments in the fields of art, literature, science and technology, religion and popular culture on the artist's way of seeing and perceiving. Highlighted here are some key subjects relating to Van Gogh's engagement with objects and the natural world, such as the experience of the artist's youth, his childhood studies , the importance of flowers, plants, trees and insects, literature as a source of inspiration in his work, and the evolution of the detail in his paintings"--Provided by publisher. "This sumptuously illustrated book offers a completely new way of looking at the art of Vincent van Gogh, by exploring the artist's approach to nature through his innovative use of the close-up view. Focusing on the last years of the artist's career--from 1886 until his death in July 1890--an international team of leading scholars in the field examines Van Gogh's radical approach to the close-up and sets it in the context of contemporary and historical references, such as his hitherto unrecognized use of photography and his fascination with the Old Masters and with Japanese art and culture.One hundred key paintings dating from his arrival in Paris in 1886 to the end of his career show how Van Gogh experimented with unusual visual angles and the decorative use of color, cropping, and the flattening of his compositions. In some paintings he zoomed in on a tuft of grass or a single budding iris, while depicting shifting views of a field or garden in others. Van Gogh: Up Close not only reveals how these paintings became the most radical and innovative in the artist's body of work but also demonstrates that, far from being a spontaneous or undisciplined artist, Van Gogh was well aware of the history of art and was highly conscious of his efforts to break new ground with his work"--Provided by publisher.