Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rerun: Trick Question - Vincent Van Gogh

This from Feb 2009 ...

Between Feb 1888 and May 1889, Vincent Van Gogh produced an incredible 187 paintings. How many did he produce from Aug 1890 to Sept 1891?

Answer: Zero. On a brilliant day in July 1890, Van Gogh aimed a pistol at his chest and fired. He died two days later. He was 37. The paintings would stop. There would be no more Van Goghs. No more Sunflowers, Irises, or Starry Nights.

Undoubtedly, Van Gogh's madness stoked his creativity. But it also stopped it dead in its tracks.

His last words were: "The sadness will live forever."

From mcmanweb: Vincent and Me

In May of 1889 he entered the asylum at Saint Remy de Provence. "As for me, my health is good," he wrote his brother Theo, "and as for my brain, that will be, let us hope, a matter of time and patience."


What got me started on this quick blog was Therese Borchard's excellent video blog from earlier today:
On Creativity and Mood Disorders


Ian said...

Hi John,

Strangely enough I just cited one of Van Gogh's letters to his sister on my blog.

The catalyst for this was a very moving programme on BBC last week dramatising his life through his letters. If interested, you may be able to watch it on line at

Unfortunately in my present frame of mind it didn't really help to watch it.

When will I learn?

John McManamy said...

Hey, Ian. Thanks very much for the heads up. I just went to the site. The show is unavailable for viewing outside the UK, but I know it will be available in one form or another fairly soon in the US. Anyone out there with info, please let us know.

Van Gogh has a special place in all our hearts in our community, not to mention the general public. I've never encountered an artist who speaks to so many people.

Literally, I've never seen anyone just walk past a Van Gogh. I could go on and on. But all I have to say is the name and you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Karol said...

I have written a blog about my life with bipolar disorder. Yes, we must educate ourselves. Now I tell my doctors what works best for me and what drugs I will refuse to take. I am all about social awareness so one day there won't be a stigma attatched to any disorder, physical or mental!!!