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Inspiring Artists tells us what it is that makes some famous artists so important and memorable, not only in terms of their artistic legacy, but also as to their impact on the wider world. It explores their life and times through significant pieces of their art, looking at the work in terms of its context, from conflict (Goya), to festivities (Bruegel) to personal struggle (Van Gogh). Each work is also considered in terms of its style, technique and artistic innovation.

Derided and overlooked during his brief lifetime, the brilliant but tortured Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) is today celebrated as one of the most important figures in modern art. His vibrant, expressive paintings of everyday settings and ordinary people have had a huge impact on artists as varied as Gustav Klimt, Francis Bacon and Anselm Kiefer.