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Psyche of an Artist > Vincent van Gogh

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8539 comments Van Gogh and Mental Illness

"As he was painting some of the most celebrated and influential art of all time, Vincent Van Gogh (March 30, 1853–July 29, 1890) was combating his anguishing mental illness — frequent episodes of depression, paralyzing anxiety and, according to some accounts, the symptoms of bipolar disorder — which would eventually claim his life in 1890, shortly after his 37th birthday."In one of the early letters, Van Gogh expressed an aspiration that remained significant for him throughout his life:

'Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.'--van Gogh

"Meanwhile, his bouts of depression, when they descended upon him, were unforgiving. In another letter to Theo, he writes:

'I am so angry with myself because I cannot do what I should like to do, and at such a moment one feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless.'-van Gogh



"Dutch newspaper report from December 30, 1888: ‘Last Sunday night at half past eleven a painter named Vincent Van Gogh, appeared at the maison de tolérance No 1, asked for a girl called Rachel, and handed her … his ear with these words: ‘Keep this object like a treasure.’ Then he disappeared. The police, informed of these events, which could only be the work of an unfortunate madman, looked the next morning for this individual, whom they found in bed with scarcely a sign of life. The poor man was taken to hospital without delay.’

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06...






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message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8539 comments Vincent Van Gogh Was Likely a Synesthete
René D. Quiñones finds cross-sensory evidence in a Van Gogh letter

(Definition of synesthesia
1 : a concomitant sensation; especially : a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated
2 : the condition marked by the experience of such sensations) Merriam-Webster Dictionary


"Some time ago you rightly said that every colorist has his own characteristic scale of colors. This is also the case with Black and White (sic), it is the same after all — one must be able to go from the highest light to the deepest shadow, and this with only a few simple ingredients. Some artists have a nervous hand at drawing, which gives their technique something of the sound peculiar to a violin, for instance, Lemud, Daumier, Lançon — others, for example, Gavarni and Bodmer, remind one more of piano playing. Do you feel this too? Millet is perhaps a stately organ."-van Gogh to his brother, Theo.

This is a very unique synesthetic impression, what might be called technique—timbre synesthesia.

Though synesthetes have suspected Vincent Van Gogh may have had synesthesia for some time, in part due to the modern belief that he had Asperger's Syndrome which is often linked to the trait of blended senses, this tantalizing evidence only came to light recently when the synesthete blogger, René D. Quiñones of Puerto Rico, was researching the artist online and found a cache of his letters."

"Photisms are those shapes synesthetes see in response to other senses."



Can you see the commas and other photisms in Van Gogh's night sky?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/bl...



message 3: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey Aronson (geaaronson) | 930 comments I always thought his erratic psychic condition came from his daily intake of absynth. He may also have had aspergers, of that I have never considered.


message 4: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments Like many who drink, Vincent likely leaned on the absynth to dull the anxieties and frustrations.

I'm curious to see how the At Eternity's Gate with Willem Dafoe portrays him. I've heard good things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eMQi...


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8539 comments Yes, thank you for posting that. I hadn’t heard of it yet. At first honestly, it looks a bit boring. But I am interested to see how he is portrayed. I wonder what all he said at the question of why he cut his ear off...


message 6: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments He should say, “To keep from stabbing Gaugin!”

The villain was not good to Vincent.


message 7: by Dirk, Moderator (new)

Dirk Van | 3282 comments John wrote: "Like many who drink, Vincent likely leaned on the absynth to dull the anxieties and frustrations.

I'm curious to see how the At Eternity's Gate with Willem Dafoe portrays him. I've heard good thi..."


Mmm, Coming out in Belgium 10th of April: something to watch out for!

There's also a very good episode of Doctor Who (I know, my daughter is a fan;-) about Vincent:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1591786/

https://youtu.be/ubTJI_UphPk


That's already from 2010...


message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8539 comments Wow! I liked watching that YouTube trailer of Doctor Who.


message 9: by Dirk, Moderator (new)

Dirk Van | 3282 comments Wonderful isn't it!
I got tears in my eyes again re-watching it just now!

The whole episode is very good if you ever get the chance to see it make sure you do!


message 10: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments I saw that Dr. Who episode a while back. They did a good job with Vincent.


message 11: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) | 35 comments I'm reading The Letters of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh , along with the section with all his letters in Complete Works of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh , so far it's been enlightening.


message 12: by Kristine (new)

Kristine  Henshaw (kristilou) I was very disappointed in "At Eternities Gate". Aside from being boring, it was filled with inaccuracies and misrepresentatons. The Gaugauin character was unrecognizable. Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn in "Lust For Life" was still a far better reprsentation.


message 13: by Dirk, Moderator (last edited Apr 14, 2019 07:17AM) (new)

Dirk Van | 3282 comments I haven't seen "At Eternities Gate" (just came out in Belgium last week) And "Lust for life" was ages ago ;-)

But a couple of years back there was a pretty good episode of Doctor Who centered on Vincent.
Here is the link once more for a very moving clip: Doctor Who takes Vincent to the museum with his time machine to show him how popular he is now:

https://youtu.be/ubTJI_UphPk


message 14: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments Inkspill wrote: "I'm reading The Letters of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh, along with the section with all his letters in Complete Works of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh, so far it's been enlightening."

Agreed. It reveals a lot of Vincent's inner workings, though I suspect not all.


message 15: by Heather (last edited Apr 14, 2019 11:18AM) (new)

Heather | 8539 comments John Karr (last post #14) knows a lot about van Gogh. In fact he wrote the book Van Gogh, Encore.
Everyone should check it out! It's very interesting.

Great work, John. Thank you! And if you so desire, it would be great if you could introduce your book!
You can do that here in this thread because this is what we are talking about, or you can introduce it in "Talent of the Members". https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group.... Feel free to start your own thread.


message 16: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) | 35 comments John wrote: "Inkspill wrote: "I'm reading The Letters of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh, along with the section with all his letters in Complete Works of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh, so far it'..."

Yeah. I can't remember where I read it, it said it was unfortunate that Theo's letters to Vincent did not survive as we have an incomplete picture.


message 17: by John (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments Heather wrote: "John Karr (last post #14) knows a lot about van Gogh. In fact he wrote the book Van Gogh, Encore.
Everyone should check it out! It's very interesting.

Great work, John. Thank you! A..."


Thank you, Heather.


message 18: by John (last edited Apr 23, 2019 05:53AM) (new)

John Karr (karr) | 76 comments Inkspill wrote: "... it was unfortunate that Theo's letters to Vincent did not survive as we have an incomplete picture."

Agreed. We have Vincent responding to many letters but no way of knowing the context of the originating / responding party, so often Theo, but also others.


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