Vincent van Gogh

21 Dec, 2023 750 Painting

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Dutch artist famous for starry nights and sunflowers, self portraits and simple chairs. These are images known the world over, and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) painted them and around 900 others in the last decade of his short, brilliant life and, famously, in that lifetime he made only one recorded sale. Yet within a few decades after his death these extraordinary works, with all their colour and life, became the most desirable of all modern art, propelled in part by the story of Vincent van Gogh’s struggle with mental health.

Listen on BBC Sounds website


  • Christopher Riopelle No other episodes
    The Neil Westreich Curator of Post 1800 Paintings at the National Gallery
  • Martin Bailey No other episodes
    A leading Van Gogh specialist and correspondent for The Art Newspaper
  • Frances Fowle No other episodes
    Professor of Nineteenth Century Art at the University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator at National Galleries Scotland

Reading list

  • Living with Vincent Van Gogh: The Homes and Landscapes that shared the Artist
    Martin Bailey (White Lion Publishing, 2019) Google Books →
  • Studio of the South: Van Gogh in Provence
    Martin Bailey (Frances Lincoln, 2021) Google Books →
  • Van Gogh's Finale: Auvers and the Artist's Rise to Fame
    Martin Bailey (Frances Lincoln, 2021) Google Books →
  • Van Gogh and the Sunflowers: A Masterpiece Examined
    Nienke Bakker and Ella Hendriks (Van Gogh Museum, 2019) Google Books →
  • Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise: His Final Months
    Nienke Bakker, Emmanuel Coquery, Teio Meedendorp and Louis van Tilborgh (eds) (Thames & Hudson, 2023) Google Books →
  • Van Gogh's Twin: The Scottish Art Dealer Alexander Reid, 1854-1928
    Frances Fowle (National Galleries of Scotland, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Potato Eaters: Van Gogh's First Masterpiece
    Bregje Gerritse (Van Gogh Museum, 2021) Google Books →
  • Van Gogh: The Life
    Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith (Random House, 2012) Google Books →
  • Vincent van Gogh: The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition
    Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker (eds) (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2009) Google Books →
  • Vincent van Gogh, A Life in Letters
    Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker (eds) (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2020) Google Books →
  • Jo van Gogh Bonger: The Woman who Made Vincent Famous
    Hans Luitjen (Bloomsbury, 2022)
  • Van Gogh Self-Portraits
    Louis van Tilborgh, Martin Bailey, Karen Serres (ed.) (Courtauld Institute, 2022)
  • Van Gogh. The Complete Paintings
    Ingo F. Walther and Rainer Metzger (Taschen, 2022) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 750 (Painting and paintings)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, starry nights and sunflowers, self-portraits and simple chairs.