Review: Van Gogh: Painted with Words

Benedict Cumberbatch as Vincent van Gogh in "Painted with Words."

“My brush goes between my fingers as if it were the bow on a violin and absolutely for my pleasure.”

 Van Gogh: Painted with Words, a one part docudrama by the BBC, is beautifully done and highly compact. I am not very well acquainted with the life of Vincent Van Gogh, and so I am not prepared to speak of the accuracy of the narration which interrupts the flow of narrative. The narrative itself is taken verbatim from the letters of Vincent Van Gogh and those around him, in particular his brother Theo.

The production begins with Vincent already in hospital, then turns back to follow the path which brought him there, in the process Vincent’s life is slowly revealled both as a man and an artist, and especially how Vincent’s environment and interests engaged with his artistic explorations.

The production values and performances are excellent throughout, with a marvellous leading and supporting cast. Should the BBC decide to produce more docudramas of this type, I would be far from disappointed.


5 thoughts on “Review: Van Gogh: Painted with Words

  1. Will this docudrama ever be released on DVD? I would love to have it. Benedict Cumberbatch was amazing. The production was excellent. They made me fall in love with Vincent.


  2. Thank you so much for this programme – carefully, sensitively and beautifully made. I’ve never watched Benedict Cumberbatch before, put off by articles in the Radio Times I think, but he was terrific.

    I’m only sorry I missed the beginning of the programme: I never imagined that it could be so good.

    Thank you!

  3. An absolute masterpiece by Dominic. Without his interpretation, pulsating, vivid acting, the programme would have lost its intent.

    He is indeed a genius, who can live and transfer to us emotions and inner emotions.

    Well done.

  4. I am desperate to buy a dvd of this program. I have watched all the clips up on utube but it is NOT enough!!

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