Cover image for The yellow house : Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin side by side
The yellow house : Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin side by side
Rubin, Susan Goldman.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams ; Chicago : In association with Art Institute of Chicago, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Reading Level:
810 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.9 0.5 86472.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.9 2 Quiz: 28211 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND653.G7 R74 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
ND653.G7 R74 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
ND653.G7 R74 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
ND653.G7 R74 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
ND653.G7 R74 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Beginning with their ambition to found an artists' colony and ending with each artist going his own way, this is the story of how, during autumn 1888, Van Gogh and Gauguin came to live together for two months, in Arles, in the south of France. It is not only the story of their friendship, it is also about how artists generate and share ideas and how they work.

Author Notes

Susan Goldman Rubin grew up in the Bronx and dreamed of becoming an artist. She illustrated her first three picture books but then turned to writing nonfiction, mainly about art and history, and is the author of more than 55 books for young people. Her titles include Diego Rivera: An Artist For The People, They Call Me A Hero: A Memoir of My Youth, Music Was It! Young Leonard Bernstein, Everyone Paints! The Art and Lives of the Wyeth Family, and Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi.

Most recently Susan has created board books based on fine art for very young children. Her titles include Counting with Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol's Colors, and Matisse: Dance For Joy.

Susan has been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program for 20 years.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. This handsome picture book, published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago, focuses on the two months in 1888 that Gauguin shared van Gogh's studio in the south of France. Rubin's elegant, simple text offers plenty of biographical detail, with more information in concluding page-length biographies. The more sensational stories, such as van Gogh's ear incident, are covered with tact and restraint. But the focus is really on the art. Juxtaposed images showing both artists' interpretations of the same subject offer a basic introduction to the artists' styles, techniques, and mutual influences. Best of all are Rubin's wonderfully accessible observations ("The picture has a mysterious mood. . . . A large green bush seems to have a face"), which will encourage kids to really look at the works and find their own connections with the images. A good introduction to the artists and to visual art in general. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

This intriguing introduction to two esteemed painters, published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago, spans two months at the end of 1888, when Gauguin accepted van Gogh's invitation to live and work at his yellow house in Arles. Laced with quotes from letters the artists wrote to others, Rubin's (Margaret Bourke-White) narrative underscores the contrasts between the duo's living and painting habits. For van Gogh, "Thick swirls of strong colors expressed his feelings his love of nature, his joy in painting," while Gauguin "painted more slowly.... He spread the paints smoothly in careful shapes." Van Gogh painted from nature, Gauguin "from his imagination feelings, fantasies, and dreams." The author's incisive, accessible analysis of some of the paintings created during their time together accompanies crisp reproductions of their work. Smith's (Circus Train) lifelike watercolor and gouache portraits effectively convey the distinctive characteristics of each man as well as the particulars of the setting and era. Sadly, their constant bickering, according to the author, eventually culminated in a quarrel that ended with van Gogh cutting off part of his own ear and precipitated Gauguin's departure from Arles. Rubin concludes with concise biographical sketches of each artist. This appealing volume will likely spark an interest in the artists' complete works. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-For a brief period in 1888, two of the world's greatest artists lived and worked together in Arles, in southern France. Though only lasting about eight weeks, this tumultuous period and relationship influenced the work of both men. Rubin does an excellent job of contrasting their two styles (and temperaments) and clearly describes how differently each one treated the same subject. The illustrations include reproductions of their paintings and excellent pictures of the men at work and home. The artwork isn't captioned, so careful looking and reading of the text is necessary for someone unfamiliar with these artists to determine who painted what. This book provides an excellent introduction to the study of these painters and their styles. It was produced in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago, which hosted the exhibition "Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South," and includes brief biographies.-Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.