Cultural References

In Music

"Vincent" by Don McLean

Based on the life of Van Gogh and his most famous painting The Starry Night. Listen.

"Timbres, Espace, Mouvement"

An orchestral work by French composer Henri Dutilleux's which was inspired by The Starry Night

La Oreja de Van Gogh - (Van Gogh's Ear)

A Spanish pop band whose name was inspired by Van Gogh. Listen

In Film

Lust for Life (1956)

A biographical film of the life of Van Gogh. It is based on Irving Stone's 1934 novel of the same name, famous for the manner in which it describes the origins of many of Van Gogh's paintings. It is mainly based on the letters between Van Gogh and his brother, Theo. The movie shows him as a tortured genius who fails at becoming a preacher to coal miners, fails with women, fails to get along with other painters, and fails to sell more than one painting in his lifetime due to his mental illness and obsession with painting. View trailer



Starry Night (1999)

A comedy fable exploring what Van Gogh would do if he had 100 days in the present time. As he paints the Potato Eaters in Holland a peasant woman posing for him offers him a potion. This potion brings him back after his death; the purpose is for him to live without suffering. A young artist falls in love with him and an intelligent lawyer he ended up in a hospital room with helps him through his troubles as he becomes the Van Gogh bandit, stealing back all of his works.

The Eyes of Van Gogh (2005)

A biographical film about the life of Van Gogh in the insane asylum he voluntarily checks into after the messy affairs of living with Paul Gauguin (and cutting off his ear). In the St. Remy insane asylum Van Gogh has hallucinations and nightmares. He also has a lot of time to relive many memories. View trailer

Van Gogh (1991)

A biographical film examining the last 67 days of Van Gogh's life with Dr. Gachet. His brother's family comes to visit him at Auvers. At first Van Gogh is charming and procures the attentions of Marguerite, a young maid at the inn, Cathy (a Parisian prostitute), and Johanna (His brother's wife). As the movie progresses Van Gogh's mental state continues to erode, making him an increasingly angry and short-tempered person. He insults all of those around him, including Dr. Gachet and Theo. Finally he shoots himself in the stomach and lies dying, continuing to lash out in anger towards any who wish to console or care for him.

Vincent & Theo (1990)

A biographical film examining lives of both Vincent and Theodore van Gogh. In this movie Theo must financially strain to support his older brother. Vincent takes an emotional toll on Theo also, with his childlike tendencies to be sweet and charming or throwing a fit. Theo's devotion and compassion allow Vincent to get away with it.

Vincent (1987)

A biographical film meaning to examine Vincent van Gogh's psyche through his letters to his brother and through imagery. All dialogue is John Hurt narrating from the letters of Vincent van Gogh (mostly to Theo, but not all).

Dreams (1990)

A series of eight short films based on the dreams of Akira Kurosawa. An art student encounters Vincent van Gogh in the film "Crows". He enters the world of Van Gogh's paintings. The young man loses track of Van Gogh and wanders through other paintings of his, attempting to find him. During this film Van Gogh is near the end of his life and missing an ear. Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Crows is the central element in this film.

In Television

The Yellow House

BBC channel 4 production starring John Simm as Van Gogh and John Lynch as Gauguin. Yellow House

Doctor Who

The episode “Vincent and the Doctor” of the BBC series Doctor Who featured the characters meeting Van Gogh when traveling to Provence. Read more about the episode and see clips here: Doctor Who.

In Theatre

Mrs. Van Gogh

This play by Geoff Allen tells the story of Johanna van Gogh, Vincent’s sister-in-law, the woman who shared Van Gogh’s works and letters with the world after his death.

Vincent in Brixton

A 2003 play written by Nicholas Wright. The play premiered at London’s National Theatre and has been performed on numerous stages including New York’s Broadway. The historical fiction account follows Van Gogh for the nearly two years he spent in London as an art dealer.

In the Community

Etten-Leur Billboard Project

To view this project go here Etten-Leur Billboard Project

Sunflower Big Easel Project

To view this project go here Sunflower Big Easel Project

Starry Night in Legos

To view this project go here Starry Night in Legos

Sheaves of Wheat in A Field Geranium in a Flowerpot Portrait of Old Man with Beard Portrait of a Woman with Ribbon Self Portrait with Dark Felt Hat
Sheaves of Wheat in A Field Geranium in a Flowerpot Portrait of Old Man with Beard Portrait of a Woman with Red Ribbon Self Portrait with Dark Felt Hat
"I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate."