Release Blitz // Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanity by Giuseppe Cafiero
A Stroke of Genius: Three Reasons Why van Gogh Was a Genius Despite his Mental Illness – Not Because of It
By Giuseppe Cafiero
Some observers argue that Vincent van Gogh’s madness was inseparable from his artistic genius – that his madness reflected his emotional instability or, at the least, was influenced by it. But I believe that van Gogh’s art was not driven by madness but crippled by it; it was perhaps even a positive product of his mental health. Van Gogh painted not because of his mental health but in spite of it. It was a form of catharsis that offered him hope and escape in equal measure.
He Inspired Expressionism
To some large degree, van Gogh singlehandedly inspired the expressionist movement. His unique painting style and visionary approach to what was previously a staid practice was revolutionary.
He only painted when he was in control
Some wrongly believe that van Gogh painted in a manic frenzy. But in fact, the truth is that van Gogh painted only when he was in control of his mental state. While his mental health certainly influenced his choice of scene, setting and subject – and his own self-portraits – his art and madness are only really linked because of the part both played on his
He checked himself into rehab?
It has been reported that van Gogh was sectioned and sent to a mad house. But van Gogh voluntarily checked himself into a 19th-century form of rehab (then known as an asylum). It is my view that van Gogh understood the consequences of his psychotic episodes and went to great lengths to understand and control them as best he could.