Sunday, August 19The Voice of London

125 Years Of Vincent Van Gogh

Are you bored of reading wordy introductions and boring details about Vincent Van Gogh? Here is what you need to know about him in an easier and funnier way. To celebrate the 125 years of Van Gogh, we made this collection of intriguing videos to unveil the mystery of this great artist.
Words: Lei Fu, Subeditor: Bea Renshaw


Born on 30th March 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, Van Gogh didn’t start to paint until he was 27 years old. In just 10 years of his painting life, he created over 900 different paintings. Vincent van Gogh is well-known for his self-portraits, mostly because he was too poor to pay the models. People call these portraits ‘post-impressionist selfies’.

But to see what Van Gogh may look like in real life if he could really take a selfie, check out this video using a little Photoshop magic to transform Vincent’s 1889 self-portrait, into a still photograph.


Vincent lived as a starving artist for his whole life. He only ever sold one painting, and only became famous after his death. Van Gogh created his most famous work “The Starry Night”, whilst staying in an asylum in France. It was created completely from memory. It now hangs in the permanent collection, in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Watch this video – you can take a close-up look at Van Gogh’s vivid colours and distorted forms of “ The Starry Night”.


And surprisingly enough, it is Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” that helps Physicist Werner Heisenberg, to explain the concept of turbulent flow in fluid dynamics. Watch this TED-Ed video made in lovely animation, and you can easily understand what Mr. Heisenberg aims to explain.


Apart from his self-portraits and “The Starry Night”, there is still one more ‘tag’ for Van Gogh – cutting off his own ear. Van Gogh suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, and other mental illnesses for his whole life. During one of his seizures, Van Gogh attempted to attack his close friend Paul Gauguin (who is also a famous artist), with a painting razor. This ultimately resulted in Vincent cutting off a piece of his own ear – but not the whole ear as is often rumoured.

A recently released book suggests it was actually Gauguin who cut off the ear. And Van Gogh supposedly wrapped it in cloth, and gave it to a prostitute who might have been his girlfriend. Historians argue that Vincent Van Gogh may have made up the whole story to protect his friend Gauguin, who actually lopped it off with a painting razor.

Here, watch this parody about Vincent Van Gogh giving his ear to his girlfriend – try to forget about the mysterious truth and have a LOL moment!