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Simon Schama on van Gogh

Did you see Simon Schama’s beautiful, expressive and quirky essay on van Gogh on BBC1 last night? Wonderful stuff. While the BBC continues to put stuff this good on the telly I am more than happy to pay my licence fee.


Actor Andy Serkis (pictured right) played van Gogh admirably – though perhaps he wasn’t dirty enough and cantankarous enough for me – speaking the words Vincent wrote in his letters.

Schama (pictured left) is a gifted art historian, a talented broadcast communicator and a stunning writer. He so neatly sums up Vincent’s quest when he says: “His art would reclaim what had once belonged to religion – consolation for our mortality through the relish of the gift of life. It wasn’t the art crowd he was after; what he wanted was to open the eyes and the hearts of everyone who saw his paintings.”

He certainly did with me…

Photo: Schama and Serkis byTim Cragg.

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