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65,000 Oil Paintings Brought Van Gogh’s Art To Life in First-Ever Fully Painted Film

Historical Art | June 8, 2017

Vincent Van Gogh fascinated the world not only for his incredible works of art, but for the tortured life he lived beyond the easel.

It only makes sense, then, that a movie dedicated to exploring the troubling end to the artist's days should also be the world’s first fully-painted film.

“Loving Vincent,” which will premiere at a French film festival next week, was created with more than 65,000 oil paintings on more than 1,000 canvases.

“We shot the film with actors, and literally painted over it frame by frame,” the project’s website explains.

They then created movement by animating every brush stroke they made.

Here’s a time lapse of one of the paintings being created"

More than 120 of the artist’s most famous paintings are turned into scenes for the film — including his beloved “Starry Night.”

The creators ended up with 943 completed oil paintings, 200 of which will be auctioned off.

Meet some of the painters in this clip:

Though the process alone is engaging enough, the story the paintings seek to tell is equally compelling.

The film looks into the artist’s suicide — historical accounts of which have never really added up.

The facts tell us this: on May 19, 1890, Van Gogh left the St. Remy Asylum having been considered cured. He went to a small village outside of Paris, painted 98 paintings in a span of nine weeks, and then died by a self-inflicted gunshot to the stomach.

“This always struck me as mysterious as well as tragic,” director Dorota Kobiela said.

“I mean, Vincent had been struggling for 8 years (he only started painting when he was 29) for recognition, and 1890 was the first time when he really was being recognized, in fact he became something of a star in the Paris art scene. He was fitter and healthier and had a more balanced life than at any time over the previous 15 years and he was close to his beloved brother, who had just had a son, who he had named after Vincent.

He was at the absolute height of his powers as a painter, and in his last letter he writes, ‘I still love life and art very much’… It just has always seemed curious to me, and I thought it would be curious for all those around him at the time.”

Here's a teaser of the movie...

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