Van Gogh’s Relationship with Alcohol

Vincent van Gogh drank alcohol to excess; more specifically he drank the potent liquor absinthe, also known as “the green fairy,” which was believed to cause delirium and hallucinations. Absinthe was also believed to cause a drinker to see yellow hue around objects, which some say can be seen in paintings such as Starry Night. However, more recent research has shown that the amount of absinthe consumed would need to be quite substantial to reach this effect, so this was probably not the explanation for Van Gogh’s yellows. The drinking of absinthe was quite common amongst the artist crowd of Van Gogh’s time, so his consumption of the beverage was …..

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Sien and Van Gogh (Part 2)

Van Gogh met Clasina “Sien” Maria Hoornik at the end of January, 1882. She was the mother of a five year old little girl, was pregnant and had been deserted by the baby’s father.  Sien posed for a number of drawings and paintings for Van Gogh, these reflected the difficult life of the working poor.  As payment for modeling, Van Gogh provided Sien and her daughter with a place to stay and food to eat.  He eventually took her, along with her child, into his home. Sien had a number of health related issues, including venereal disease which she probably passed on to Van Gogh.  In June, he spent 3 …..

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Dr. Gachet

Dr. Paul Gachet was Vincent’s doctor during the last few months of his life. Gachet treated Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise the small town just outside Paris where Van Gogh was living. Working in Paris, Gachet knew many of Van Gogh’s contemporaries including Renoir, Manet, Cezanne and Pissarro.

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