Xanthopsia and van Gogh's yellow palette

  title={Xanthopsia and van Gogh's yellow palette},
  author={Wilfred Niels Arnold and Loretta S. Loftus},
A survey of van Gogh'S worh from 1886 to 1890 indicated that paintings with a yellow dominance were numerous, episodic, and multi-regional. His underlying illness, by his own admission, affected his life and work; furthermore, episodes of malnutrition, substance abuse, environmental exposure, and drug experimentation (all evident from correspondence) exacerbated his condition. Accordingly, we reviewed plausible agents that might have modified the artist's colour perception. Xanthopsia due to… 

The neuropsychiatric ailment of Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was afflicted by some kind of neurological or psychiatric disorder, which remains a mystery even today, and features such as hypergraphia, atypical sexuality, and viscosity of thinking suggest the possibility of Gastaut-Geschwind phenomenon.

The Illness of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) was a wonderfully accomplished artist whose work is now widely appreciated. He created a great number of masterpiece paintings and drawings in just one decade devoted to

The illness of Vincent van Gogh.

  • W. Arnold
  • Art
    Journal of the history of the neurosciences
  • 2004
On this 150th anniversary of the birth of Vincent van Gogh it is appropriate to revisit the subject and to analyze the lack of organized skepticism in the popular media about other diagnoses.

Vincent van Gogh's yellow vision.

  • A. Gruener
  • Art
    The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners
  • 2013
The paintings of the Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh are famous for their vivid colours, particularly the striking use of yellow, most evident in his later works such as Van Gogh, Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, 1888 and The Reaper, 1889.

Absinthe, the nervous system and painting.

  • T. Rekand
  • Art
    International review of neurobiology
  • 2006

Human anatomy in the paintings of Dominikos Theotokopoulos - El Greco (1541-1614)

Art historians reject any ‘medical’ theories, believing that in his works there are many elements of mannerism and one of them is this elongation, but many physicians insist to find a pathology beneath this deformation, which is discussed in this paper.

The Eye in the Artist

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) Perhaps the most talented and tragic of the lot, van Gogh, attained recognition posthumously having sold only a single painting in his lifetime. Nonetheless, his art is a

Absinthism: a fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact

Based on the current available evidence, thujone concentrations of both pre-ban and modern absinthe may not have been able to cause detrimental health effects other than those encountered in common alcoholism.

Doctor Gachet, in the kitchen, with the foxglove

An overview of van Gogh’s mental illness, the treatments that were offered by his contemporaneous physicians, and the role that these factors may have influenced his paintings are provided.

On van Gogh and the Foxglove Plant

During this time, Withering developed an interest in treating the poor and then eventually became involved with a hospital that catered exclusively to the ‘sick poor’ and prescribed digitalis to these patients and kept detailed records of their progress.



Van Gogh's vision. Digitalis intoxication?

Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch postimpressionist painter, died in 1890 under the influence of digitalis intoxication and its side effects: xanthopsia and coronas.

Vincent van Gogh and the thujone connection.

During his last two years Vincent van Gogh experienced fits with hallucinations that have been attributed to a congenital psychosis. But the artist admitted to episodes of heavy drinking that were

The Influence of Eye Disease on Pictorial Art

With all the proper humility of a simple technician I would like to lead you through the evidence, and in rash moments fly a few small kites-remembering always that what I say can be only fairly applied to naturalistic paintings, which have been of quite secondary concern in most periods and most cultures.


  • R. Monroe
  • Psychology
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease
  • 1978
It is proposed that for Vincent, Limbic system sensitivity, physical neglect, absinthe abuse, and repeated psychological stress, as well as strength of character, creative temperament, innate artistic ability, and disciplined development of his artistic skills provided a rare combination of coincidences which in part explains why Vincent's life was a shambles and his artistic creativity unique.


Introduction Visual side effects from the cardiac glycosides are common, especially in cases of overdosage. The most frequent symptoms are blurring, "yellow vision," and flickering scotomata. Many


The purpose of this report, fourth in a series of studies associated with convulsant therapy, is to compile a detailed record of the effects of metrazol on the human eye.

[Van Gogh's xanthopsia].

  • P. Lanthony
  • Art
    Bulletin des societes d'ophtalmologie de France
  • 1989
Critical study of two features of the painting of Van Gogh: the colored haloes, assignated to glaucoma; and the prevalence of yellow, assignated to xanthopsis induced by digitalis.


The santonin xanthopsia was found to be similar to the effects produced by fatiguing violet perception physiologically and the condition is attributed to depression of the receptivity of the most refrangible rays of the spectrum.

Ocular manifestations of digitalis toxicity. Discussion and report of three cases of central scotomas.

The subjective and objective ocular manifestations of digitalis toxicity are reviewed and reemphasized and the importance of being especially cognizant of them is stressed.

Large-scale Digitoxin Intoxication

Extensive ophthalmological observations indicated that the visual complaints were most probably caused by a transient retrobulbar neuritis and the symptoms were described of 179 patients who took faultily composed tablets and suffered from digitalis intoxication.