Self-Portrait, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
De Agostini Picture Library—Getty Images
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June 3, 2015 7:00 AM EDT

The anthology Ever Yours: The Essential Letters, contains 265 of Vincent van Gogh’s letters, which is nearly a third of all the surviving letters he penned.

In a long and winding letter to his brother Theo dated Thursday, 24 June 1880, van Gogh shines light on his independent mind.

Later, in the same letter, he defines two types of idlers.

Ever Yours: The Essential Letters sheds light on the turbulent and beautiful life of history’s greatest luminaries.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.

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