16:09 GMT +318 July 2019
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    A visitor stands in front of giant screens featuring images of the work of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh during a traveling multimedia art exhibition entitled Van Gogh alive on February 4, 2013

    New Van Gogh Movie 'Romanticised Version of Reality' - Art Historian

    © AFP 2019 / JACK GUEZ
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    A new film depicting the life of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh with a new twist in the tale of how he died has been disputed by Professor of Art History and senior researcher at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum.

    "According to us, Van Gogh did take his own life, there is no historical argument that Van Gogh didn't commit suicide," Professor Louis Van Tilborgh told Sputnik.

    It's long believed the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter killed himself but 'At Eternity's Gate', a movie directed by Julian Schnabel, Van Gogh is shot following an altercation with local youths in a village on the outskirts of Paris.

    Van Gogh is then seen staggering back to a local inn in the dark where he died 36 hours later.

    "I think Schnabel has romanticised a version of the reality," Professor Tilborgh, senior researcher at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum says. 

    French screenwriter and the film's co-writer Jean-Claude Carriere, told AFP "there is absolutely no proof he killed himself…Absolutely not."

    "He came back to the auberge with a bullet in his stomach and nobody ever found the gun or his painting materials,” Jean-Claude Carriere said.

    Often depicted as a cantankerous individual, Van Gogh was known to drink heavily and eat badly. He suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and attended asylums.

    Vincent Van Gogh's depression continued throughout his life in Paris. On 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest and died.

    However the new film about his life screened at Venice Film Festival suggests the artist passed away after being shot by youths. The film's director Julian Schnabel says the film is not intended to be a factual biopic but an opportunity to present "another set of possibilities."

    However, Art Historian and Van Gogh expert, Professor Louis van Tilborgh told Sputnik the artist's life "is a story of someone wrestling with suicide, if you attend an asylum, suicide is expressed early on as a possibility."

    "New myths are being created and as a historian, I confess I do not believe them; but that doesn't say anything about the quality of the movie," Professor Tilborgh told Sputnik.

    "It's not a biography, if you want to learn about Van Gogh's life, read about it in a book. In a film, biographical details of Van Gogh's life are blown out of proportion and the directors create a work of art about Van Gogh.

    The theory that Van Gogh did not kill himself was initially raised in 2011 in a biography written by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.

    READ MORE: 130 Years Later, the Owner of Van Gogh's Eat Becomes Known


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