Van Gogh Musical Will Rock European Stages in 2015

Detail of Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait (1887) at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Courtesy of Benjamin Sutton.

Finally, at the age of 162, Vincent van Gogh will sing and dance.

A new musical based on the artist’s tumultuous life, currently being overseen by Dutch theater producer Albert Verlinde, will have its premiere next year as part of the 125 Years of Inspiration celebrations that will be held throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, and France to mark the anniversary of the painter’s death.

Martine Willekens, a spokeswoman for the Van Gogh Europe Foundation, told the Telegraph that her hope is for the musical to “bring Vincent van Gogh’s works to life in a non-traditional way.” Through the foundation’s website, Chairman Frank van den Eijnden articulated similar ambitions for the event in regards to the artist’s legacy, saying: “We want to use 2015 to provide a rich program for everyone who shares the passion for van Gogh’s life and work.”

Van Gogh, who died in 1860 at age 37, is said to be the most exhibited painter ever and was most recently the subject of an impromptu exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, which had all seventeen of his paintings in its collection on view together for the first time in over a decade.

Van Gogh certainly had a dramatic life. His trials and tribulations, including a mental breakdown in the winter of 1888 that resulted in him cutting his own ear off with a razor, before being hospitalized, only to be sent to an asylum again, a year later, this time in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in the South of France. After spending nearly a year in treatment there, he was released to private care in Auvers-sur-Oise, where he finally ended his life in July of 1890.

Few details have been announced regarding the Van Gogh musical spectacular, but we implore those in charge to resist the urge to cast actor-performance artists James Franco and Shia LaBeouf as Van Gogh and his frenemy Paul Gauguin.

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