In the villages of Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise where he has retreated to escape the pressures of Paris, Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) is treated kindly by some and brutally by others. Madame Ginoux, the proprietor of the local restaurant takes pity on his poverty and gives him a ledger, which he fills with drawings. Others are afraid of his dark mood swings. His close friend fellow- artist Paul Gaugin finds him so overwhelming he slips away and his beloved brother and art dealer Theo is unwavering in his support, but never manages to sell a single painting of Vincent's.
Van Gogh endures scepticism, ridicule and even physical assault, battles his own mental illness, and creates some of the world’s most beloved works of art.