Inside and outside the claustrophobic art world of Paris in the late 19th century, two Dutch brothers try to make their mark. Vincent can only paint and rage. Soft souled, black-toothed, he spends his life in a series of barren rooms, taking his work as far as it can go. Theo can only try--mostly in vain for the length of both their lives--to sell his brother's work. Theo vicariously participates in his brother's art while working, marrying, and contracting syphilis like a 'normal' bourgeoisie. The brothers became the work: one brother who painted, and the other brother who believed that to support the painting was the most important thing he could possibly do with his lifetime.
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