Five Movies And Shows That Portrayed Vincent Van Gogh Spectacularly

The iconic artist Vincent Van Gogh and his fascinating life has been portrayed on the big screen by a handful of different actors.

 Vincent Van Gogh has been one of history’s most celebrated figures. A Dutch painter known for his portraits and landscapes, he struggled to sell paintings in his short depressing life. But now, his popularity soars more than ever with his artworks being sold for millions. The artist’s life and mysterious death have been the subject of numerous realistic and fictional portrayals on-screen. Here are the five best portrayals of Vincent van Gogh on TV and in films.

Lust For Life

Probably one of the earliest portrayals of the painter, Lust For Life is based on the novel of the same name by Irving Stone. This 1956 movie focuses on the early struggles of the painter to find a career he was passionate about. This dramatized biopic starring Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh portrayed the right amount of struggle and pain which the real artist might have faced.

Painted With Words

Painted With Words is a TV docudrama released in 2010, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Van Gogh. A lot of Cumberbatch’s dialogue in the series is sourced from Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo. As a result, what emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, civilized, and yet tormented man. The film won a Rockie for Best Arts Documentary at the Banff World Media Festival in 2011, receiving critical acclaim for its fascinating insight into the life of the artist and its unique approach to storytelling.

Loving Vincent

You will learn more about the painter’s life through the use of over 130 animated versions of his paintings. You have probably never witnessed anything like this film before, and Loving Vincent really knocked it out of the park. This fantastic movie was nominated for an Oscar and it beautifully explores the possibility that Van Gogh’s death was, in fact, an accident.

At Eternity’s Gate

This movie portrays a troubled Van Gogh in his final years. At Eternity’s Gate spectacularly explores the artist’s relationship with fellow painter Gauguin. Actor Willem Dafoe breathes new life in the character showing us how petty and unstable Van Gogh might have been in his state of depression.

Doctor Who

In an episode of Doctor Who titled “Vincent and the Doctor,” the eponymous Doctor travels back in time to find out that a commune in Paris has been haunted by an invisible creature that only Van Gogh can see. In one of the final scenes, the Doctor brings Vincent to the year 2010. He takes him to an art gallery in Paris where people are flocking around his classic artworks. The Scottish actor Tony Curran doesn’t speak much in this scene but his eyes do all the talking, making even this fictional portrayal one of the most memorable Van Gogh moments on-screen.

If you are obsessed with this iconic painter,  you will certainly love all of the titles above.


Satavisha hails from the city of joy, Kolkata. She took up writing as my profession amid the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. Here, she acquired a balance between her passion for writing and sharing various ideas and facts through her stories.
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