The Artists Throughout History That Have Self - Destructed

The most successful or famous artists are not always as
happy as successful people are portrayed- living a life of
fame, fortune, and glamour. The following examples will
show some of the problems that four different artists have
suffered in the past century. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch
painter who lived from March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890.
He is now one of the most famous painters in modern art
(World Book 306). He only sold one painting in his living
days, but now his paintings are considered priceless. Some
of his paintings and drawings include: The Bedroom at
Arles 1888 Self-Portrait 1888 Vase with 12 Sunflowers
1888 Langlois Bridge with Women Washing 1888
(Sweetman 378) Those are just a few of his
accomplishments, though he has created many, many more
works of art. In 1888, artist Paul Gaugin moved into
Vincent’s house with him. At first everything worked out
fine, but within the year, their personalities started to clash,
and big problems arose. Then, on December 23, 1888,
Paul Gaugin was taking a walk in the nearby public garden,
when, according to his memoir “Avant et Apres," Vincent
chased after Gaugin with an open razor blade. But, when
Gaugin turned around, Vincent turned and ran home.
Gaugin decided that this threat was too much for him to
take, so he checked into a hotel room for the night. When
Paul Gaugin arrived at home the next morning, he saw a
crowd of police officers and citizens surrounding the house.
When he went in the house he saw that there was blood
everywhere- on towels and blankets, then a trail leading up
the stairs. When he got to Vincent’s bedroom, he found
him curled up on his bed covered in sheets pink with blood.
Gaugin thought Vincent was dead, but when he went to
touch his friend’s hand, it radiat! ed warmth from his
friend’s body (Sweetman 290). Gaugin found out later that
Vincent had cut off almost his whole left ear, wrapped it in
newspaper, and given it to his friend Rachel. He then said
“Guard this object carefully” (Sweetman 293). Some
reasons speculated for this unusual self-destruction were: 1.
Schizophrenia 2. He failed to harm Paul Gaugin so he
turned the violence on himself? 3. He was just filled with
self-loathing? It was later discovered that he was tormented
by voices and was having hallucinations. Had he attempted
to silence the voices by cutting off the offending organ?
(Sweetman 294) Vincent van Gogh began having nervous
attacks in 1888, and his doctor diagnosed him with having
some sort of epilepsy. He then went back to painting
(Sweetman 296). Vincent was fully conscious of his state,
and after about four months he went to live at the asylum of
St. Paul-de-Mausole. He left the asylum after a few months
and returned to painting again. But the nervous attacks did
not stop. Then in 1890 when he realized that his epileptic
state was incurable, he committed suicide (Sweetman 303).
On July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh attempted suicide-
but he didn’t die. After lunch, Vincent went to Chateau
d’Auvers. He leaned his easel against a haystack, and went
down to the Chateau wall. He held a revolver to his chest,
pulled the trigger, and fainted. When he came to, he
searched for the weapon he had used, but could not find it.
So he got up and walked to a friend’s house in town
(Sweetman 341). The friends called a doctor, and the
doctor dressed the bullet wound. No vital organ including
the heart had been hit. But the doctors decided that if
Vincent wanted to die, they would let him. He was not
taken to a hospital, and the doctors left (Sweetman 342).
On July 28, 1890, Theodore, Vincent’s brother came to
where Vincent was staying. Though he was in good
condition, as the day wore on, infection set in Because
doctors believed that leaving the wound alone and not
taking out the bullet would make it heal faster. There was a
period where suffocation was near as he struggled for
breath. When Theodore realized that his only brother was
dying, he got on the bed beside Vincent and cradled his
head in his arms. “I wish I could pass away like this,”
Vincent said. Half an hour later, his last wish was granted.
Vincent van Gogh died at 1:30 in the morning, July 29,
1890 (Sweetman 343). James Douglas Morrison was the
lead singer in the very popular late 1960’s rock group “The
Doors.” He was born in 1943, and he died in 1971. His
long list of accomplishments includes his albums: The Doors