Vincent van Gogh DVD cover
The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh
5 April 2009

Yesterday I watched Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh - a unique documentary about the artist's life. The entire narration consists of Vincent's letters, and the visuals of his paintings and drawings and the places he lived. Such rare combination of visuals and artist's own words makes this documentary especially valuable. There is no distortion here - you get the input strictly from the source. Almost.

I had no idea that Van Gogh was such a talented writer. His letters are fluent and clearly describe the complex struggles of his life as an artist and human being - some of it I know all too well myself. Especially this quote is valid for me too: "It is basically true that a painter is a man too absorbed in what his eyes see, and is not sufficiently master in the rest of his life."

During the last 10 years of his life Vincent produced more than 2,000 works, including around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. Two years before his death Van Gogh cut off part of his left ear during some sort of seizure. Possibly caused by a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin. He committed suicide at 37 years of age by shooting himself in the abdomen with a revolver. He sold one painting during his lifetime.

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