Thursday, August 30, 2012

Was Van Gogh Color Blind?

If there’s any artist who ever lived and knew color in his soul, it was Vincent Van Gogh. Almost mad with color, Van Gogh owned a box of different-colored yarn just so he could tangibly handle color and literally weave them together to determine how the combinations might look when put into paint. Walk through any Van Gogh exhibition on Earth and you’ll come out the other side drunk on color. But a Japanese medical scientist now contends that Vincent’s unique color palette was literally a function of his vision—specifically, a kind of color blindness. According to this researcher, Van Gogh’s unforgettable wheatfields and starry nights stick in our minds because they lack a color component most of us can see in nature. Is it possible that some of Van Gogh’s power to fascinate comes from a visual disability, or is this researcher demonstrating a different kind of blindness? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Was Van Gogh Color Blind?"

3 comments:

Hels said...

This reminds me a bit of the case for El Greco having some sort of stigmatism. Otherwise why would his figures be elongated?

I hope that van Gogh simply loved his own special, vibrant colours.

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