comScore Loving Vincent, a Film Animated by Oil Paint | The Mary Sue

Feast Your Eyes on the Trailer for Loving Vincent, an Animated Film Made Up of 62,450 Oil Paintings


The framework and animation style for Loving Vincent is already impressive on its own, even if the movie itself wasn’t about such a fascinating subject. The entire idea of putting together 62,450 oil paintings, each representing a single frame of animation, is a massive undertaking–and it’s not one that directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman took on lightly. The entire film began as a live-action movie, and then professional painters were enlisted to recreate every single frame, one by one, so as to end up with the stunning effect that can be seen in this trailer.

I’m a huge personal fan of Vincent van Gogh’s work, in part because of my own struggles with mental health and the knowledge that much of his work is a reflection of that struggle–albeit an inherently tragic one, since he ended up taking his own life. One of my favorite paintings, “Starry Night,” depicts the view that van Gogh could see from the asylum room where he lived when he painted it. In later years, he referred to the painting as a “failure”–perhaps because it depicted a period of his life that was difficult.

Admittedly, van Gogh did what he could to access what mental health services were available to him in the late 1800s, but those services paled in comparison to what would have been available for him today. Back then, there’s no way that he could have gotten a decent diagnosis beyond “madman,” and it seems likely that the lack of support and treatment available contributed to his all-too-early death.

That struggle is one of the themes of the film, which is about both van Gogh himself and also his friends and peers, who worried about the artist’s mental breakdown and suicide ideation. Filmmaker Dorota Kobiela is also a fan of van Gogh herself, particularly his letters, which she read during “a time of crisis in her own life.” This making-of video describes that journey more in depth, and provides information on why Kobiela wanted to make this film:

The film sounds fascinating, and it will definitely be one-of-a-kind, just like Vincent van Gogh himself. Based on these trailers, it looks like Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and the rest of the creative team should be very proud of what they’ve worked so hard to make. I’m excited to see it, myself.

(via This Is Colossal)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (