Hospital at Arles – Van Gogh, 1889

 

Oskar Reinhart Foundation, Winterthur, Switzerland.

 

The famous Impressionist painter Van Gogh has had much personal experience with hospitals and asylums, admitted repeatedly in Arles and St Rémy for episodes of mental illness. Over 150 psychiatrists have variously attributed his mental condition to schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, syphilis, temporal lobe epilepsy, acute porphyria, or heavy metal poisoning – aggravated by malnutrition, overwork, insomnia, alcohol, and absinthe. In Arles he painted the ward in which he was a patient as dark and forbidding, the patients silent, withdrawn, and non-communicative.

 


 

George Dunea, MD, Editor-in-Chief