Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30th 1853, in Zundert, The Netherlands. Van Gogh spent his teenage year’s working for a firm of art dealers; however, he did not embark upon his art career until 1880. Originally, he worked only with dark and gloomy colors, until he came across the art movements developed in Paris known as, Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism (Meier-Graefe 4). Van Gogh than included their brighter colors and unique style of painting into his very own creations. He produced more than 2,000 works, including around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches, during the last ten years of his life (Meier-Graefe 10). However, most of his best-known works were produced in his last two years of living, and during that time when he cut off part of his left ear. After this trauma he suffered repeated attacks of mental illness, which led to his suicide.
Many will argue that Van Gogh was in a mental state of mind, however many physicians and psychiatrists tried to define Van Gogh’s medical conditions, and there are many accusations of Van Gogh’s mental and physical diagnoses. Van Gogh suffered from seizures, which some doctors believe to be caused by temporal lobe epilepsy. Van Gogh was born with a brain lesion that many doctors believe was aggravated by his prolonged use of absinthe causing his epileptic condition (Lubin 28). Van Gogh was believed to have treated his epilepsy with digitalis, which is a treatment that can cause a person to see in yellow, or see many yellow spots. Which could have been the reason why Van Gogh had an obsession with this color. However, in response to seizures, anxiety, and depression Van Gogh drank absinthe, which is a toxic alcoholic dri...
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...Van Gogh became one of the most famous artists throughout history. Despite his mental illness, he is an inspiration to artist, singers, songwriters, and even poets. Van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet remains one of the most expensive paintings in the world. In 1990, a Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito, paid $82.5 million for the painting (Schapiro 112). But since his death, the painting has not been seen. Van Gogh’s unique combination and content is very powerful, dramatic, emotional, and imaginative, which has made his work as well known as it is today.
Lubin J. Albert: Stranger on the Earth: A Psychological Biography of Vincent Van Gogh. Da Capo Press: 1996: Chicago.
Meier-Graefe, Julius: Vincent Van Gogh: A Biography. Courier Dover Publications:
1987: New York.
Schapiro, Meyer: Vincent Van Gogh. Harry N. Abrams Inc: 1994: New York
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