Lesson by Van Gogh Museum
This lesson contains 22 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 4 videos.
Tell the class: More than 125 years after his death, Vincent van Gogh is still an inspiration to many people. That includes the makers of the film Loving Vincent, who took his paintings as the basis for a painted movie. You may think it sounds easy to make an animated movie based on paintings that already exist (Vincent made more than 850 paintings).But nothing could be further from the truth. Every painting used in the film had to be adapted. On top of that, the film consists of 65,000 frames (12 per second). An enormous job!
Continue: Our image of Vincent is all the more colourful thanks to the many stories that have been told about him, in films, documentaries, museums, books, graphic novels, songs, games, and of course, his own art and letters. So before we watch the preview of Loving Vincent, the question is: What's your image of Vincent van Gogh?
Instructions for the quiz: Students can use their mobile phones to answer the questions. The class can also do the quiz without mobiles, and their answers can be written on the digital whiteboard (click on the pencil icon for this option).
In this video (length: 2 minutes, 23 seconds), a few of the artists explain why they took part in the project.
Tell the class: Like the artists who worked on the film, Vincent travelled a lot. He spent time in four countries: the Netherlands, England, Belgium, and France.
Loving Vincent is based mostly on paintings from Vincent's most creative period, in France.
Click on the pushpins for examples of Vincent's early and late paintings These illustrate the differences in style between Vincent's early work (in the Netherlands and Belgium) and his late work (in France).
Continue: The 125 artists who painted the frames of the film had all been trained in Vincent's late style, which involves dots and dashes of paint, bright, intense colours, and a swirling brushstroke.
Summarise the class responses and go on to the next slide.
Tell the class: The paintings by Vincent used in the film had to be adapted. For example, The Starry Night is closer to portrait than to landscape format. But by panning from the top to the bottom of the painting, you can show the entire work, bit by bit.
Continue: And here's what you would find there, in the spot where the Yellow House once stood. It was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. Another house in the painting, behind the Yellow House, is still there. So is the railway bridge in the background. To find inspiration for the night version, the artist Wiktor Jackowski looked at other paintings by Vincent. Going to Arles wouldn't have helped much!
In the film, Armand sees the view on the right. It's based on the view on the left, which Vincent painted in Paris in 1886.
The two versions differ in colour.
Continue: Unlike the first three examples we saw, this painting did not have to be changed very much. That's partly because it's already in landscape format.
Click on the hotspot to see Vincent's version.
Continue: The wheat field looks a bit different in the real world than it does in the film and in Vincent's painting. You can still visit this spot. If you click on the photo in Google Maps, you'll see the difference. It's close to the graves of Vincent and his brother Theo (in the cemetery to the right of the field). Many other places painted by Vincent can be seen in Google Maps. Optional: If you have time, you can take a virtual tour of Auvers with the class. You can examine a number of locations in detail, including: