Vincent Van Gogh Essay

1366 words - 6 pages

Vincent Van Gogh lived out these words as he created masterpieces by painting how he perceived the world. Van Gogh had an eccentric personality, however, continuously suffered from unstable moods and recurrent psychotic episodes caused by Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Bipolar Disorder. Despite his suicide in the end, these illnesses correlate with his inability to form stable relationships while also enhancing his artwork.
Vincent was born on March 30 in Zundert, Netherlands to Anne Cornelia Carbonates and Reverend Theodours Van Gogh. Growing up in a very religious and cultural atmosphere with five siblings, Van Gogh was often the quiet child with few artistic qualities in his earliest years. ...view middle of the document...

But with a desire to leave a legacy, and with pressure from his brother, Theo, Vincent started to recognize his artistic ways once again. Van Gogh had no proper training and was doubtful of his abilities, but Theo kept pushing him and supported him financially to become the successful artist Theo knew his brother could be (“Vincent Van Gogh Biography”).
Starting his art career, Vincent’s early works were somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings until he started living with Theo in Paris, at which point, the impressionist movement strongly influenced Van Gogh. However, he also began to suffer from lapses of consciousness, eccentric sensations, and minor spasms, which are episodes of sudden terror. Vincent had previously been suffering from minor illnesses, but now, while in Paris, his Bipolar Disorder took control of his life. Bipolar disorder occurs in the brain, and is a manic depression. It causes unusual energy levels, mood variation, activity level, and the inability to carry out daily tasks. Common consequences of this disorder are damaged relationships, poor job and school performance, and even suicide. The characteristics of bipolar disorder truly affected the atmosphere of Van Gogh’s life. The behavioral changes he was said to have suffered from were being easily distracted, but conversely, he began to engage in more goal oriented activities, such as taking on new projects. Many thought mania was his prominent condition. Episodes were always followed by utmost exhaustion, which made it arduous for Vincent to stay on task while working (“Vincent”;“Bipolar Disorder”; Blumer).
Another major illness Van Gogh suffered from was Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, a series of seizures beginning in the temporal lobe. The disorder can be exceedingly diverse, but particular patterns are common, including undergoing a combination of different emotions, experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Vincent lived with a mild brain ulcer, but it was later worsened by his excessive use of absinthe, causing his epileptic condition. Voluminous and redundant doses of digitalis can often result in seeing yellow or yellow spots. Van Gogh often complained of seeing yellow spots surrounding his cornea. Although his excessive consumption of absinthe may have caused him to see all objects with yellow hue, it is more likely that it was his overmedication with digitalis. This manifestation of a yellow tint through Van Gogh’s eyes influenced him to create paintings such “Starry Night,” which contains sporadic yellow dots (Wolf;“Vincent”;“Temporal”).
At the age of twenty-seven, Van Gogh had been a student in Brussels for nine months to advance his education. He sojourned with his parents, and continued to work on perfecting his drawing and shading. While at home, Van Gogh was creating art pieces of peasant life, influenced by his work with the miners of Borinage, but his way of art soon began to change. By the end of 1881, he left behind his parent, to take lessons from Anton...

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