"There may be a great fire in our soul, but no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a little bit of smoke coming through the chimney and pass on their way. Now, you must tend that inward fire, wait patiently for the hour when somebody will come and sit down near it -- to stay there maybe?" - Vincent van Gogh, Letters to Theo (1889)
Theo is van Gogh's brother, an art dealer who lived in Paris. The letters from Vincent to his beloved brother Theo are required reading for anyone who wants to understand the tortured artist. In them, van Gogh provides deep insights into his working process, providing details on his motifs and compositional decisions. These letters are almost an essential accompaniment to his paintings. He wrote these infamous letters while a voluntary patient at the St. Remy asylum, during the last two years of his life. He died in 1890, having sold only one painting, following a botched suicide attempt.