Loving Vincent: A Mind in Colors

April 22, 2019
Loving Vincent is heavily based on researchers' findings of Vincent Van Gogh's life. Let's find out more about the great Vincent Van Gogh.

Vincent Van Gogh is by far one of the most influential and recognized painters in the world. His work is known by millions of people. Starry Night and his Sunflowers series can be seen on mugs, shirts, bags, television or the Internet.

That popularity has been key to Loving Vincent‘s success is the big screen. 2017’s Loving Vincent is an animated film about the life and unfortunate death of the painter. Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, every frame in the movie is a little oil painting. More than 125 painters worked nonstop for years to make this movie a masterpiece.

Loving Vincent is heavily based on researchers’ findings of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. Let’s find out more about the great Vincent Van Gogh.

vincent van gogh art

Van Gogh: An unconventional artist

Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 in The Netherlands. Some might say that Vincent’s life was determined by a bad omen. He was named after his brother, stillborn exactly a year before. The older of six, he was a glum and shy child.

After dropping out of school, Vicent started as an apprentice in Goupil & Co., an internationally renowned art trader. It was probably here where he developed his interest in painting.

Sadly, art trading was not of Vincent’s liking. Goupil & Co. fired him for his disregard of the job. Afterward, Van Gogh decided to become a man of God.

While traveling around the Netherlands and Belgium preaching the gospel, Van Gogh developed an artistic vision. It was then when he started painting. Even in his early sketches, you can see themes that’d become recurring throughout his career.

He was very interested in the poor, the fields, and seasons autumn and winter. Above all, Van Gogh dedicated to portraying the working class’ life. It’s possible his Protestant background had influenced this.

Vincent Van Gogh was a very prolific painter having produced over 900 works, besides 1600 drawings and sketches. Van Gogh is part of the post-impressionism movement, focusing on light and movement. Thick brush strokes and color fill many of Van Gogh’s works.

vincent and theo van gogh

Letters to Theo

What we know of Vincent is mostly due to his correspondence to his younger brother Theo. Vincent was an eager writer and wrote over 600 letters to Theo, who kept them in perfect conditions.

Four years his junior, Theo unconditionally supported his older brother. Since childhood, Vincent and Theo had a close friendship and Theo greatly admired his older brother.

For all of the above, when he turned 15 years old, Theo started working as an art trader in Vincent’s old company. Unlike Vincent, young Theo worked there his entire life. This job gave him the financial stability to finance Vincent’s art.

Since a very young age, Theo sent money to Vincent because the latter wouldn’t earn much. Through their letters, Vincent asked Theo for help many times. Theo was a friend and a patron to Vincent. Their friendship was deep and their love unconditional.

van gogh's self portrait

Goodbye, Vincent

Vincent Van Gogh died in unusual and suspicious circumstances. After going out for a walk around the village, Vincent came back home with a gunshot injury to his abdomen. Theo got to see his brother just before his passing from blood loss and possible infected infection.

For decades there was a theory that Vincent had killed himself, but recent investigations claim otherwise. The angle of the wound makes it unlikely that Vincent had shot himself.

At the same time, there were two boys, the Secretan brothers, on holiday in the village. The brothers were unruly and shot animals in the fields. Maybe a lost bullet might have hit the painter, and he probably didn’t want to tell on the boys.

After Vincent’s death, Theo became depressed. A year after his brother’s death, Theo died leaving behind a young child and a wife.

Theo’s wife collected all of the brothers’ letters throughout the years, also all of Vincent’s paintings and drawings she could.