Lust for Life

Woman in Garden by Vincent Van Gogh

Woman in Garden by Vincent Van Gogh

April, 2017

The 1956 movie Lust for Life is an adaptation of the book by the same name written by Irving Stone and is a biopic of the young, talented yet troubled painter Vincent van Gogh. Legendary Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas played the made to order role of the dutch painter and Anthony Quinn played the painter’s friend and contemporary, the French painter Paul Gauguin.

This picture is a great introduction to the many works of Vincent van Gogh as it reveals the process and inspiration that this tortured artist went through to produce masterpieces that were not appreciated in his time. Before the release of the book and then film,only people in the art world were privy to the genius of his paintings. Lust for Life exposed a new generation to this artist and his works. People who did not run in the art crowd became moved about the trials and tribulations that this artist endured. In this film, Vincent van Gogh finally received the validation that he was seeking all of his short, tragic life.

Now since Vincent van Gogh is given his proper due, his most notable work would be The Potato Eaters, Starry Night, Sunflowers, and Bedroom in Arles. These paintings show great technique in the use of light, colors, and his experimentation with new techniques used by his contemporaries in his work. It also shows the evolution of how this artist took painstaking detail of his surrounding to make ordinary things and places by making them extraordinary. In this sense, nature was his true canvass and Vincent van Gogh brought it to life. In the film, Vincent van Gogh said it best about being an artist, “If I'm to be anything as a painter I've got to break through that iron wall between what I feel and what I express. my best chance of doing it is here, where my roots are... the people I know, the earth I know."


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