Self-Destruction of Van Gogh, Morrison, and Cobain

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The most successful or famous artists are not always as happy as successful people are portrayed-living a life of fame, fortune, and glamour. The following examples will show some of the problems that four different artists have suffered in the past century. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter who lived from March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890. He is now one of the most famous painters in modern art (World Book 306). He only sold one painting in his living days, but now his paintings are considered priceless. Some of his paintings and drawings include: The Bedroom at Arles 1888 Self-Portrait 1888 Vase with 12 Sunflowers 1888 Langlois Bridge with Women Washing 1888 (Sweetman 378) Those are just a few of his accomplishments, though he has created many, many more works of art. In 1888, artist Paul Gaugin moved into Vincent’s house with him. At first everything worked out fine, but within the year, their personalities started to clash, and big problems arose.

Then, on December 23, 1888, Paul Gaugin was taking a walk in the nearby public garden, when, according to his memoir “Avant et Apres,” Vincent chased after Gaugin with an open razor blade. But, when Gaugin turned around, Vincent turned and ran home. Gaugin decided that this threat was too much for him to take, so he checked into a hotel room for the night. When Paul Gaugin arrived at home the next morning, he saw a crowd of police officers and citizens surrounding the house. When he went in the house he saw that there was blood everywhere- on towels and blankets, then a trail leading up the stairs. When he got to Vincent’s bedroom, he found him curled up on his bed covered in sheets pink with blood. Gaugin thought Vincent was dead, but when he went to touch his friend’s hand, it radiat! ed warmth from his friend’s body (Sweetman 290). Gaugin found out later that Vincent had cut off almost his whole left ear, wrapped it in newspaper, and given it to his friend Rachel. He then said “Guard this object carefully” (Sweetman 293).

Some reasons speculated for this unusual self-destruction were:1. Schizophrenia2. He failed to harm Paul Gaugin so he turned the violence on himself?3. He was just filled with self- loathing?It was later discovered that he was tormented by voices and was having hallucinations. Had he attempted to silence the voices by cutting off the offending organ? (Sweetman 294) Vincent van Gogh began having nervous attacks in 1888, and his doctor diagnosed him with having some sort of epilepsy. He then went back to painting (Sweetman 296). Vincent was fully conscious of his state, and after about four months he went to live at the asylum of St. Paul-de-Mausole. He left the asylum after a few months and returned to painting again. But the nervous attacks did not stop. Then in 1890 when he realized that his epileptic state was incurable, he committed suicide (Sweetman 303).

On July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh attempted suicide- but he didn’t die. After lunch, Vincent went to Chateau d’Auvers. He leaned his easel against a haystack, and went down to the Chateau wall. He held a revolver to his chest, pulled the trigger, and fainted. When he came to, he searched for the weapon he had used, but could not find it. So he got up and walked to a friend’s house in town (Sweetman 341). The friend’s called a doctor, and the doctor dressed the bullet wound. No vital organ including the heart had been hit. But the doctors decided that if Vincent wanted to die, they would let him. He was not taken to a hospital, and the doctors left (Sweetman 342).

On July 28, 1890, Theodore, Vincent’s brother came to where Vincent was staying. Though he was in good condition, as the day wore on, infection set in Because doctors believed that leaving the wound alone and not taking out the bullet would make it heal faster. There was a period where suffocation was near as he struggled for breath. When Theodore realized that his only brother was dying, he got on the bed beside Vincent and cradled his head in his arms. “I wish I could pass away like this,” Vincent said. Half an hour later, his last wish was granted. Vincent van Gogh died at 1:30 in the morning, July 29, 1890 (Sweetman 343).

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Self-Destruction of Van Gogh, Morrison, and Cobain. (2023, May 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/self-destruction-of-van-gogh-morrison-and-cobain/

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