Tag Archives: Vincent Van Gogh

Absinthe: the green fairy

Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Green Muse. Albert Maignan. 1895. Via Wikimedia Commons “After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Food colors: a history of food in art and literature

Sayantu Basu Kolkata, West Bengal, India   The Colors of Feast: Still Life with Fruits, Nuts and Cheese  Floris van Dijck, Frans Hals Museum, Harleem, Netherlands “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” This is how Voltaire upholds the significance […]

Letters from the asylum

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausol, Provence France After cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh spent a year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence confined to a mental asylum. Despite several major relapses during his stay, he continued to work prolifically, completing more than 140 paintings including masterpieces such as Starry Night, Irises, and Almond […]

Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark:’ a failure to find a perfect future in an imperfect present

Sylvia R. Karasu New York City, NY, USA   In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark, 1 Aylmer, “a man of science” leaves the somber, factory-like atmosphere of his laboratory to marry the beautiful Georgiana.  Aylmer “had devoted himself, however, too unreservedly to scientific studies ever to be weaned from them by any secondary passion,” and seems […]

The peach tree

W. Roy Smythe Temple, Texas, United States   Souvenir de mauve, 1888 Vincent van Gogh Oil on canvas 73.0 x 59.5 cm In the hot Texas summer of my 77th year, my skin turned a little yella’, and I lost some weight. Doc Butler, who I’d been seein’ for ‘bout 30 years now, told me […]