He published widely on Van Gogh, in the journals he ran, Moderne Kunstwerken (1903-1910) and Beeldende Kunst (1913-1938), and elsewhere. Inleidende beschouwingen (Amsterdam 1911), a didactic introduction to Van Gogh’s work for a general readership; the aim of the book was ‘not to praise this man and elevate him above all others through abstract argumentation or enthusiastic words, but to demonstrate his greatness with his work as the example, in other words through that work itself’ (p. He gave lessons and courses on modern art, frequently using Van Gogh to illustrate his ideas.
Some of the people who attended his courses, mainly women, were very wealthy, and Bremmer advised them on purchasing art..
With hindsight these efforts to publicize Van Gogh’s correspondence can be seen as preparatory moves towards the final breakthrough: the second decade of the twentieth century witnessed three publications that were crucial to knowledge of Van Gogh’s life and work and to the artist’s wider international reputation.
On 25 January 1910 he drew up a contract with Bernard: for 2,000 francs Bernard, as the owner of the manuscripts, sold the publication rights for a period of six years, during which Vollard could print as many copies as he wanted provided he adhered to the agreed design and sold them for at least 10 francs.
The typography is generous, with wide margins, a hundred reproductions of Van Gogh’s drawings, letter sketches and paintings in black and white and two colour reproductions ‘hors texte’. The cover, designed by , bears a simple ornament, the title and the publisher’s name in handwritten lettering, printed in orange and blue.