|Olive Trees With Yellow Sky and Sun|
.....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,