Loving Vincent

The upcoming film, Loving Vincent will be the first fully painted animated film. It will tell Vincent van Gogh’s story, his hard life and his mysterious death. It will feature 65,000 oil paintings painted by 115 painters who had to take special lessons to learn to paint like Van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh was Zundert, Netherlands into a nice family. He had a big family, his parents often took the children on walks which inspired the love of nature in Vincent. At the age of eleven, he went to boarding school in Zevenbergen. He was very unhappy there but still finished his elementary schooling. He then transferred to a secondary school in Tilburg in which he left school at the second academic year for reasons to be unknown. He never went back to school after that.

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Vincent then at the age of sixteen started working for his uncle at an art shop. He left to London but still kept in touch with his younger brother Theo. Some of the letters he wrote to Theo are present. Van Gogh had also become very religious at this stage of his life and a lot of what was in his letters to Theo were Bible verses. He left his job as he didn’t like working there anymore and found himself a non-paid teaching job. He later found a job with a salary at a private school. His parents were worried he didn’t have a purpose in life and so his uncle helped him out once again. He started a job at a bookshop in Dordercht. Later, his parents agreed for him to study theology, but seeing as he had never finished school, he had to sit an entrance exam.

He moved to Amsterdam to stay with a family member, lots of his family relatives tried helping him out and supporting him for his theology entrance exam, but it was for nothing as Vincent preferred wandering and taking long walks around the city.

Although his study plan had failed, he was still ambitious to serve God. He moved to Belgium and worked as a lay preacher in the Borinage mining region. He lived among the miners and their families and shared their poverty. He gave up his possessions and slept on the floor, he was so dedicated that he was nicknamed “The Christ of the Cole Mine.”

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Vincent van Gogh’s sketch of Borinage (1879)

Vincent van Gogh often included sketches and drawings in his letters to his brother, Theo, who advised him to focus more on his art. Deciding to take the advice, Vincent was convinced he could also serve God as an artist. Van Gogh moved to Brussels in the Fall of 1880 where he met other artists and improved his artistic techniques. He didn’t have a paid job, so his brother sent him money from time to time.

‘I heard from Pa that you’ve already been sending me money without my knowing it, and in doing so are effectively helping me to get along. For this accept my heartfelt thanks.’

-Vincent to Theo, April 1881

Vincent later moved back in with his parents who weren’t fully supportive of him becoming an artist. Vincent soon left and found a home in The Hague. He took art lessons from a cousin by marriage, Anton Mauve. Van Gogh proceeded to practice everyday.

In early 1882, Vincent met Sien Hoornik who was a former prostitute. She was his model and his lover. While being together, she was pregnant and already had a five year old daughter and Vincent was determined to take care of her. Although, Theo wasn’t supportive of their relationship, he continued to support Vincent financially.Vincent eventually realized it wasn’t going to work with Sien, so he broke it off.

After their split, Vincent went to the countryside to paint but after three months felt isolated and returned to his parents’. At his parents’, he rented a studio and made art. He then sent them to his brother in hopes of earning the allowances Theo had given him. The plan went to nothing as people were buying colorful paintings while Van Gogh’s was dark in tone.

After his father’s death, Van Gogh painted his famous The Potato Eaters. But not long after, he turned to bright work when him and his brother moved to Paris together. Theo had introduced many different kinds of art to Vincent which inspired his The Hill of Montmartre with Stone Quarry. His works after that were much brighter and colorful.

Soon, he got tired of Paris. He longed for the peace and landscapes of the countryside which is why he moved to Paris.When he moved into an apartment. Paul Gauguin moved in with Van Gogh and it resulted in some incredible work collaborations.

They had their disagreements, which became too much for Vincent who threatened Gauguin with a razor and ended up slicing part of his own ear off. After this incident, his mental health wasn’t as good as before.Fearing something would happen, he admitted himself to a psychiatric hospital.

In the hospital, he got a lot of help and was even given a room to use as a studio. He completed about 150 paintings in that year. Theo got married and named their son after Vincent. Theo and Jo’s son’s name was Vincent Willem van Gogh.

Almond Blossom, made by Vincent for Vincent Willem

1890 is when Vincent started getting noticed. Some of his paintings were in exhibitions and his work started getting appreciated. Vincent soon after left the mental hospital and befriended an amateur artist who advised him to devote himself to his art fully. Vincent took that advise and started painting the fields around the village he moved to. This seemed to improve his mental health as well.

Vincent found out that Theo quit his job and wanted to manage his own business. He found out Theo and Jo weren’t sure they could financially support him which got Vincent really worried.

The stress got the best of him, and on 27 July 1890, Vincent shot himself in the chest with a pistol. After his brother’s death, Theo started having nervous breakdowns and was admitted to a mental clinic. A half year after his brother’s death, he died. Vincent Van Gogh’s legacy is carried in the present day, and will be carried until the very end of humankind as he is a great artist and his life journey is adventurous and incredible. He showed us that you should follow your dreams no matter what.Loving-Vincent-600x337

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