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This Animated Movie About Van Gogh Is Made Entirely of Oil Paintings

The final product will include more than 56,000 paintings

Recently, everything seems to be coming up van Gogh—from a recreation of his room to a creepy ear grown with his DNA. Then again, since van Gogh's death more than 100 years ago, the world's obsession with the artist has yet to abate. It certainly doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon, and the latest manifestation of this fascination with the famous post-Impressionist is almost as impressive as the artist’s own work. As Christopher Jobson writes for Hyperallergic, a new trailer for an animated movie based on the artist’s life is made entirely of oil paintings that look like they could have been created by the master himself.

The film is called Loving Vincent, and it’s on track to be the world’s first feature-length animated film made entirely of paintings. It’s being created by BreakThru Films, which won an Academy Award for its stop-motion Peter and the Wolf. The plot of Loving Vincent follows the painter’s life and is based off of the extensive letters he left behind.

But the movie won’t be just any animation. Rather, each of its 56,800 frames will be hand-painted in oil on canvas in the style of van Gogh’s paintings. Thirty painters will take two years to complete every painting. They’re doing their work in a state-of-the-art studio filled with what they call Painting Animation Work Stations, or PAWS—specially-designed work stations that the Guardian’s Fiona Macdonald writes will allow painters to produce one frame every 40 minutes.

The movie is still being completed in Gdansk and Wroclaw, Poland, and Athens, Greece, but just because it’s already in progress doesn’t mean you can’t help. According to the movie’s website, the filmmakers are looking for “high-level oil painters” to help bring the ambitious movie to a gorgeously illustrated screen near you. 

Editor's note, March 1, 2016: This post has been updated to accurately reflect the date of van Gogh's death.

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