The 10 Best Documentaries About Vincent Van Gogh

Nov 19, 2023 | Art, Best Of, History

Vincent Van Gogh, one of history’s most influential and tragic artists, has captivated the world with his vibrant and emotional masterpieces. From his storied life to his mysterious death, there is no shortage of interest in this enigmatic figure. While books and paintings have been the traditional medium through which we learn more about Van Gogh, documentaries offer a unique way to delve into the life and art of this brilliant painter. In this article, we will explore the 10 best documentaries about Vincent Van Gogh that are sure to captivate and inform you about the man behind the brushstrokes.

1. Van Gogh, the Painter With 900 Paintings

This documentary from the BBC chronicles van Gogh’s life, featuring original paintings and his own words. It provides insight into the artist’s unique perspective of beauty through interviews with experts, archival footage, and animated sequences. This feature-length animation film was made using 65,000 hand-painted oil paintings on canvas, making it a true visual masterpiece. It delves into the many mysteries surrounding van Gogh’s life with a fictional narrative based on 700 of his letters. This two-part documentary explores the personal relationship between Vincent and his brother, Theo, who was his closest confidante throughout his entire career. It features various interviews with art historians and experts as well as a glimpse into some of his most iconic works. This 1956 biopic, starring Kirk Douglas in the lead role, traces van Gogh’s life from his days in the Netherlands to his death in France. It also features some of his most famous paintings and landscapes as a tribute to the master painter.


2. Vincent Van Gogh, Why is the Artist Still an Enigma

Van Gogh’s stunning artwork has been studied, copied, admired, and even used in many Hollywood films over the years. Generations of art lovers have tried to gain insight into the extraordinary mind of this genius, from his many self-portraits to his turbulent relationships. The documentary goes beyond the popular myths and examines how Van Gogh’s work has inspired those who have picked up a brush or a camera after him. It is also an exploration into how we can still be touched by this transcendental artist’s vision even today, 125 years later. In addition to the main documentary, we also took a look at some of his letters. Through these letters, it is possible to gain further insight into Van Gogh’s life and work. The film includes an exploration of some of the more personal moments in Van Gogh’s life, like his love for nature, as well as his troubled relationship with his brother, Theo. It is in this way that we can gain a better understanding of the man behind the artwork, and his legacy.


3. Van Gogh’s Life Of Struggle – How Vincent Never Saw His Success

In this list, you will find the best documentaries about Vincent Van Gogh’s life and works. From his struggles and triumphs to his tragic end, these captivating films explore the man behind some of history’s most iconic artworks. Explore his world through some of these incredible documentaries: Loving Vincent (2017): This film brings Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork to life, blending oil painted animation with live-action. Through interviews with those who knew him and his letters, the film explores the unanswered questions surrounding his death. Van Gogh: Brush With Genius (2003): This Emmy Award winning PBS documentary delves into the short and turbulent life of Vincent Van Gogh, featuring interviews with renowned art historians and insight into the artist’s iconic works. Vincent Van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing (2015): This BBC documentary uses modern technology from X-rays to state-of-the-art infrared analysis to discover what lies beneath the surface of some of Van Gogh’s most famous works.


4. Van Gogh – The Absolute Painter

The best documentaries about Vincent van Gogh attempt to answer these questions and more. “Vincent & Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers” (1990) is a film that explores the relationship between Vincent and his brother Theo, who was an art dealer in Paris. Through this movie, we witness how their relationship fostered an understanding of art and inspired both of them to pursue their dreams despite the struggles and lack of recognition they faced. “Vincent – The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh” (1991) is a documentary that follows van Gogh’s life from his poor beginnings in Holland to his untimely death in France. It also features interviews with those who knew him best, as well as artistic recreations of his work and life. Van Gogh: Painted with Words” (2010) is a documentary that delves into the correspondence between van Gogh and his contemporaries, including Theo. Through letters, we can gain insight into the way Vincent saw life and how it affected his art.


5. Vincent Van Gogh – The Humble Genius

The world has been captivated by Vincent Van Gogh’s art for more than a century. It is only fitting to honor his legacy with these documentaries that explore the life of this great artist and provide insights into his genius. This is a 2017 animated documentary film produced by Break Thru Films and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welch man. It is the first-ever fully painted animated feature film, with over 65,000 oil paintings created in the style of Van Gogh himself. This incredible feat allows viewers to experience an immersive journey as they explore the life of Van Gogh and his works. This feature film, written and directed by Julian Schnabel, centers around Van Gogh’s years spent in France. It follows the artist as he focuses on his artwork while struggling with depression and mental illness. Willem Dafoe does an amazing job portraying a man who is determined to make something of himself despite the challenges life throws at him.


6. Things You Didn’t Know About Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most iconic and beloved painters in history. His unique style and emotionally charged works continue to inspire people all over the world. But what do we really know about him? Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Vincent Van Gogh: Van Gogh was an avid letter writer. He wrote around 800 letters in his lifetime, which are now a valuable source of information about the artist. He was born into an artistic family; both of his parents were art dealers, and his brother Theo studied art history and worked as an art dealer. Van Gogh’s most famous painting, “The Starry Night”, was painted in 1889 while he was living in the mental asylum at Saint-Rémy. He was an avid reader and loved to spend time in bookstores and libraries looking for new works to read. While Van Gogh is best known for his paintings, he also produced more than 800 drawings during his career.


7. In a Brilliant Light – Van Gogh in Arles, 1984

Our current selection of films provides a creative and educational approach to viewing art, while exploring the life and work of Vincent van Gogh. From his early days in the Netherlands to his time in Paris and lastly Arles, this series offers an intimate look at his works through insightful interviews from experts such as curators, conservators, scholars, and historians. The program also features a variety of different mediums from animation to home movies, providing viewers with an engaging and comprehensive look into the life and works of this iconic artist. With the use of beautiful visuals, archival footage, and soundtracks that capture the intimate atmosphere of life in Provence, you will gain a unique insight into van Gogh’s creative process.


8. The Hidden Life of Vincent Van Gogh

In this documentary, we explore the life and work of Van Gogh. We look at his techniques, his influences, and what made him so extraordinary. We also investigate his complicated relationship with painting and mental illness. Through interviews with experts and other people who knew him, we answer questions about why he became one of the most famous painters in the world. This documentary takes an intimate look at one of the greatest artists of all time. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding Van Gogh’s life and work, as well as his impact on art history. Along with stunning visuals from some of Van Gogh’s most famous works, this film offers an inspiring story about how art, resilience and creativity can transcend tragedy. Explore the heart, soul and mind of one of the world’s most revered painters in this insightful documentary about Vincent Van Gogh. Discover what made him an icon and learn how his troubled life ultimately served as fuel for his creative genius.


9. Vincent van Gogh’s Turning Points – Van Gogh in Paris

The documentary film “Vincent and the Doctor” explores van Gogh’s life, art and his often misunderstood struggles with mental illness. The hour-long film follows Dr. Lucien Freud — the great grandson of Sigmund Freud — as he travels to Amsterdam to explore van Gogh’s legacy. Through interviews with historians, psychiatrists, and museum curators from around the world, “Vincent and the Doctor” offers fresh insight into van Gogh’s work and legacy. Additionally, the film features a virtual tour of some of van Gogh’s most famous paintings, including Starry Night. The Academy Award-winning documentary “Loving Vincent,” tells the story of Vincent van Gogh’s life and mysterious death. Narrated by famed actor Chris O’Dowd, the film follows a young man named Armand Roulin who sets out to deliver van Gogh’s final letter to his brother Theo in Paris. Along the way, Armand interviews people from around the world who knew Vincent or were inspired by him.


10. Things You Didn’t Know About the Tortured Life of Vincent van Gogh

Although Vincent van Gogh spent the majority of his life in misery and poverty, several documentaries about him have been created to tell his story. These films explore his work, influence, and the unique circumstances of his life that resulted in such a great tragedy. Here are some of the best documentaries ever created about Vincent van Gogh: “Vincent and the Doctor” by BBC. This film follows a doctor who travels back in time to meet Van Gogh during his life in Arles, France, as he struggles with mental illness and poverty. “Van Gogh: A Life” by PBS. This documentary includes exclusive interviews with some of Vincent’s friends and relatives, revealing an intimate look at Vincent’s life and work. “Van Gogh: Brush with Genius” by National Gallery of Canada. This film explores the genius of Van Gogh through his works of post-impressionist art, and how he used his unique brushstrokes to bring emotion to his painting.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B