Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Letter X: The Choose Your Poison #AtoZChallenge

Olive Trees With Yellow Sky and Sun

     "Art and sight are closely intertwined. Painting is a visual medium that requires both the artist and the observer to use their visual sense to fully appreciate the execution and development of a composition....
     .....In this first instalment of a mini-series looking into the subject of ‘Vision and Art’ I would like to talk about the ‘yellow vision’ of Vincent van Gogh.
     ‘Xanthopsia’, that is, an overriding yellow bias in vision, can be provoked by many disorders other than the reddish-brown filter of nuclear sclerosis, which most famously affected Monet.
Poisoning by a large number of drugs, including santonin, digitalis, phenacetin, ether, chromic and picric acids, and even snake venom have been associated with xanthopsia....
     ...Whatever van Gogh’s exact diagnosis may have been, it is highly likely that after admission to the asylum at Saint-Rémy in 1889, his physician, Dr Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, prescribed digitalis, which is why medical historiography strongly supports the hypothesis of van Gogh having suffered from digitalis-induced xanthopsia. In Portrait of Dr Gachet, 1890, the foxglove plant is presented in front of Dr Gachet; digitalis is extracted from foxglove plants."  -from Vincent van Gogh’s Yellow Vision, Anna Gruene,





7 comments:

  1. Not only did it kill him, it affected the coloring of his paintings. Interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was an interesting theory as well!

      Delete
  2. Probably the most fascinating theme I've stumbled on! I have to admit that I don't know much about Van Gogh's medical history, but it's fascinating that the "treatment" affected him visually.

    TheCapillary
    Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge
    http://thecapillary.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed doing the research for this theme. :)

      Delete
  3. And there is one writer who is reputed to have poisoned himself with oodles of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whoa! This is amazing information. I simply assumed the artist must 'like' that particular colour.. I must share it with my artist friend..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sweet! Killed by color!

    Poor Van Gogh. He definitely was a couple of cookies short of a dozen. He did create some amazing pictures though.

    ReplyDelete