van Gogh and Romanticizing the Tortured Artist

P O S T S C R I P T

Vincent van Gogh is experiencing a 21st-century renaissance. Popular portrayals of the troubled artist are increasingly appearing on both the small and big screen  – a Doctor Who episode, the film Loving Vincent, and the most recent movie depiction from director Julian Schnabel, At Eternity’s Gate, starring Willem Dafoe.

In all of these representations, van Gogh’s mental health is at the forefront of the story — it is hard to mention him without bringing up the self-inflicted severing of his ear in the following sentence. Perhaps the cliché of the ‘starving, tortured artist’ can be attributed most notably to him. This is certainly how we view his art—through the lens of a man who grappled against life, cornered by his own mind’s wolves.

In the late 1880s, after cutting off his left ear and offering it up to a prostitute, van Gogh was admitted to a hospital in Arles…

View original post 1,013 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s