Kirk Douglas does an amazing job of looking like Vincent van Gogh and Anthony Quinn is also amazing as Paul Gauguin, but I didn't love this film. I far prefer the book by Irving Stone. In fact, I love the book and I love van Gogh and I thought his treatment in this film was a little harsh.
I know that he was a passionate man and that he could fly off the handle, but I think that his worst qualities were a fault of the lead paint that he used to create his timeless masterpieces.
He was tactile. I know that he used his fingers and hands to mix his colors. I know that he's had paint on his face, in his mouth, I know I have and I'm not a van Gogh. I believe that his exposure to lead and some of the other environmental conditions that he either couldn't help, or didn't know about affected his health in many ways.
He had an irrepressible drive to create and yet could not see clearly why. He only sold a single painting in his lifetime. And, yet, it makes me cry to think of the beauty he left us. His tortured heart was wrung out in paint on canvas. He helped us to see those who lived in poverty, the holiness of work, the yearnings of his heart, the brilliance of God's creations.
The only real comfort that Vincent ever had was his brother Theo who loved him and believed totally in his gift and in his brilliance. Without Theo, we wouldn't have Vincent's paintings.
In the year 1889, while van Gogh was trying to recover at at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, he painted these beautiful Irises. There is no sketch for them, they were meant to be a study. But, Theo loved them and took them to an exhibition.
Vincent van Gogh died the following year. He died unrecognized for a lifetime of beautiful work. In 1987, this painting sold for $53.9 million dollars. Adjusted for inflation, it is still one of the top 10 most expensive paintings ever sold... but to me, it is priceless.
He was the white Iris in this painting. He was always apart and never understood and all of that complicated by his terrible illness. But he was a beautiful man and I am forever grateful for the talents that he worked so very hard to earn and for the riches he left to inspire us.
I love THIS tribute to Vincent set to the beautiful song Starry, Starry Night... Enjoy...