About the Book
Title: Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanity
Author: Giuseppe Cafiero
An abrasive itinerary of the presence of women, the landscape and obsession. Such are the internal paradigms that went through the compelling life of the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.
Not flesh and blood women, but the woman as a guide: Mrs. Jones, the woman as a mother; Kee Vos; Christine Hoornik of Siena; Margot Begemann. The Portrait-women such as Augustine Roulin and Madame Ginoux. And then the backgrounds, endless, unforgettable in this genius's works: Isleworth, Amsterdam, le Borinage, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his life trying to capture the colors, the atmosphere, the light.
The pain of finitude and his obsession with achieving redemption through art, with intimate and stormy religiosity, with brotherly love, with the French noon sun and, in short, with death. A hard-working and unwavering life where art interacted, in a painful gesture, with the iron will of a hand that never lost its way.
The life of a beloved and devoted man, silenced by the anguish and despair of creation, who could only find peacefulness when he found his own death.
Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity is a fictionalized biography and gripping novel of the life of the Nineteenth-Century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The author, Giuseppe Cafiero, draws a psychological portrait of the Post-Impressionist painter through the women that marked his life and the cities in which he lived.
How van Gogh’s Quest for Perfect Love Contributed to His Descent into Madness
By Giuseppe Cafiero
Van Gogh is the archtype of the troubled artist; a man whose heightened sensitivities were simply too much bear. That is the myth, but behind it lies a significant truth and it is my contention that his restless pursuit of an ideal form of love contributed heavily to his deteriorating mental health across his adult life.
His family had a history of mental illness so it is no surprise that he was genetically predisposed to the condition himself. However, his first mental breakdown came in 1873 after falling in love with, and being rejected by, Eugenie Loyer. She was the daughter of the landlord at the residence Vincent was staying at in London while working at an art dealership. She was already engaged to be married so it was an impermissible union, but if van Gogh was bipolar as many medical experts suspect then both the approach, however quixotic, and reaction to the rejection, could be seen to fit with the characteristics of either ends of the illness’s spectrum.
Spurned by Eugenie, the artist tried next to become a priest, having been highly religious from a young age. His attempts to devote himself to a higher love, that of the creator, however, were equally fruitless on account of his immoderate behaviour.
From this point we can observe an ongoing cycle of enthusiasm and dejection as Vincent tried desperately to find a love that would assuage his darker thoughts. These loves were multiform, be it seeking sanctuary in the arms of another, the Holy Spirit or the radiant joys of the French midi sun and glories of nature itself, which he tried to capture in paint. Vincent’s mind was unprotected and was, alas, slowly overwhelmed and unravelled by these unacceptable solicitations.
Vincent lived a semi-peripatetic existence in his quest for perfect love, and found some satisfaction, albeit one-sided, in his artistic studies of signs and colour. Yet though the natural world yielded freely to his genius, in the end van Gogh could never hope to escape himself or meet the impossible standards his troubled mind had set.
Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity by Giuseppe Cafiero is out now as an audiobook on Amazon, Audible.com and iTunes