"Thanks to the preservation of 1000's of letters Van Gogh had written to friends and family, especially to his brother Theo, we have a nearly complete understanding of his feelings, experiences, and views on every aspect of his life. Surprisingly, his incredible artistic talent went undeveloped and unrecognized until he was 27 years old, after he had already failed at two other career choices, as an art dealer and a Protestant minister. Under the shroud of family shame when he was found incompetent to follow in his father's ministerial foot steps, he began to study art. He obsessively poured himself into this newly found talent and completed thousands of sketches and oil paintings before he shot himself to death at the age of 37 years old."
One moment, while I check Amazon. Here we go: The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, In the Footsteps of Van Gogh, At Eternity's Gate, <a href="amazon.php?asin=0847823326>Vincent Van Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard, Vincent Van Gogh, Van Gogh's Van Goghs: Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh.