Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Van Gogh

  • From silks to science: The history of hematoxylin and eosin staining

    Vidhi Naik Aberdeen, Scotland   A slice of logwood, notably depicting its deeply colored heartwood, atop different fabrics stained by logwood dye. Image obtained and published with permission from Botanical Colors. Introduction Hematoxylin and eosin, dyes used to stain tissue samples, collectively known as H&E, form the benchmark for histological stains. These dyes possess a…

  • The flower lady

    Jonathan B. Ferrini La Jolla, California, United States   Photos by author. The Flores Family Flower Shop was founded by my grandfather as a roadside stand. It has now been a favorite flower shop in San Diego for the past fifty years. Six days a week at 4:30 in the morning, I drive the truck…

  • The Portrait of Doctor Gachet

    Nicholas KangAuckland, New Zealand On a spring evening in New York, a portrait is unveiled before a crowded auction room. It pictures an older man wearing a dark blue coat with luminous green buttons. His elbow rests on a red table beside two yellow books. In front of him is a glass with faded purple…

  • “John Barleycorn Must Die”: Addiction attributions in Jack London’s Alcoholic Memoirs

    Ad A. KapteinBarend W. FlorijnPim B. van der MeerLeiden, the Netherlands A thousand words every morning—with iron discipline, Jack London adhered to his writing routine. Later in the day, he would turn to John Barleycorn: beer, wine, whisky, and brandy. His John Barleycorn: Alcoholic Memoirs (1913) tells of his drinking career, which took off after…

  • Literatim: Essays at the intersections of medicine and culture

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, UK In this interesting collection, medical historian Howard Markel has brought together his previously published essays from the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the PBS Newsletter into one volume. The collection of eighty pieces covers a wide range of topics that have interested Markel over…

  • Hospital at Arles – Van Gogh, 1889

    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,…

  • Views from the Asylum

    Robert Ferrari Alberta, Canada   Poet’s statement: “Views from the Asylum” is an ekphrasis of Van Gogh’s works from his 1889 period, when he self-admitted to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole and produced 150 paintings while in that asylum. It is interesting that he painted so much and so clearly under constraint. The same phenomenon is echoed by poets…