Van Gogh’s ear and his epilepsy

Vincent Van Gogh; apart from his artwork was also famed for being an artist who cut off his own ear. Repeatedly hospitalized in an asylum, he suffered scores of physical and mental ailments which included hallucinations and chronic depression which were believed to ultimately led to his death. Exhibiting eccentric behavior all his life, the association between Van Gogh’s health, treatments and his artistic genius continued to fuel speculation today.

His symptoms of hallucinations, odd behavior, prolonged periods of unconsciousness and peculiar perception of colors supported his physician’s diagnosis of epilepsy (癫痫); more specifically, temporal lobe epilepsy. 

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a chronic condition where the sufferer experiences seizures in areas of the brain that is associated with sensation, personality, behaviour and mood. How many more influential people were thought to suffer from and became famous as a result of TLE? Stay tuned.


Starry Night Over The Rhine.


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2 Responses to Van Gogh’s ear and his epilepsy

  1. Nevertheless his art is gorgeous! He definitely is my favorite artist!

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