The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh is one of the most influential painters in western art. His series of still life sunflowers are known around the world today, but during his lifetime in the 1800s he lived in poverty, selling incredibly little of his work, some say just one painting, and suffered several serious breakdowns. One of his most famous paintings - The Starry Night - is said to be the view from his room in a French psychiatric hospital where he’d admitted himself shortly after severing his own left ear. This programme looks at the man behind these iconic paintings, explores how and why he became a painter and picks apart the various theories around his death from a gunshot wound at the age of just 37.
Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss van Gogh’s life and work are Louis van Tilborgh, Senior Researcher at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, van Gogh biographer and co-author of van Gogh: The Life, Steven Naifeh, and British art historian Lucrezia Walker.