Great artists, their medical conditions, and how their work was affected
Corrine Wong takes a stroll through some of history's most creative patients and their conditions
- By: Corrine Wong
We all know famous artists, or at least can recognise a few names. Renoir, Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Edvard Munch, etc. We think of their paintings of fruit bowls, flowers, undressed ladies, and other subjects in their heavy frames, hanging in museums and art galleries, each with a price tag equivalent or more to a holiday in space.
We contemplate their art, but do we contemplate the artists? Their work must have been shaped by their lives, and therefore their health. As human beings, they must have suffered medical conditions, and you wonder if great works of art could have been influenced by the artist's illness. Following that vein, could art have been influenced by medicine, or the lack of it?
Take for example, Monet. One of the leading figures in Impressionism, his was the hand that painted the water lilies series (1899-1908), which were done on huge canvasses in