Van Gogh Alive, Festival Square, Edinburgh, until July 17.

THIS enjoyable, high-profile event, which has been devised by Grande Experiences, of Port Melbourne, Australia, is one of a number of immersive exhibitions worldwide, all centred on the peerless work of Vincent van Gogh.

It has already been seen by more than 8.5 million visitors worldwide, in cities ranging from Beijing and Berlin to London, Madrid, Moscow, Rome and Sydney.

In his programme notes, Grande Experiences managing director Bruce Peterson says it took 18 months “and countless iterations over the last decade to create ... Van Gogh Alive has redefined the way many people around the world engage with art and culture and it has brought tremendous pleasure to audiences young and old”.

The show, in a purpose-built pavilion in Festival Square, across from the Usher Hall, is powered by Grande Experiences’ SENSORY4 system, which combines multichannel motion graphics, “cinema-quality” surround sound and nearly 40 high-definition projectors.

Richly detailed photographs of van Gogh’s paintings are projected onto huge multiple screens, in their entirety or in detail, as the visitor is taken through the artist’s career, from the Netherlands (1880-1885) to Paris (February 1886-February 1888), Arles (February 1888-May 1889), Saint-Remy (May 1889-May 1890) and, finally, Auvers-sur-Oise, where his life ended in July 1890.

The photographs, augmented by quotations from Vincent’s letters and by imagery that flickers across screens on the floor, are soundtracked by a classical score that includes Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1, Bach’s Cello Suite No.1, and Handel’s Sarabande.

The projections certainly work well, and are especially bewitching when such vividly expressive paintings as Cafe Terrace at Night (Arles, 1888) and Starry Night Over the Rhone (Arles, 1888) are seen in close-up detail on 360-degree screens around you.

The show also includes a small side-room with an abundance of mirrors and artificial sunflowers (others of which can be purchased in the gift-shop, alongside T-shirts, jigsaw puzzles, books, prints, posters and pencils); there’s even, in the foyer, a recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles, where you can have your photograph taken.

It is, all told, a stimulating way of spending between 30 and 40 minutes. It’s not quite the same, of course, as seeing the actual brush-strokes on Van Gogh’s actual paintings, but it is a useful introduction to, and reminder of, his genius.

Critical opinion has been divided. One critic, in a piece headlined ‘Van Gogh for the TikTok generation lacks substance’, described the show’s attitude to the paintings as deadening and conspicuously commercial.

You’re never going to please everyone. There’s no denying the exhibition’s commercial intent, but from talking to people who were there a week ago today, and from reading reactions online, it seems that the show has enough merit to make it worth seeing if you’ve a hankering to explore van Gogh’s peerless work.

A couple of visitors, impressed by what they saw, have urged the organisers, via Facebook, to consider running similar shows on Francis Bacon or Claude Monet. Grande Experiences have already, it turns out, done one on Monet and Friends. But Francis Bacon? Now there’s a thought.