Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN | JP

9/11

Van Gogh exhibit blames society, not artist, for his madness

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 01:32

Mar. 11 - The Musee d'Orsay in Paris presents some of Vincent Van Gogh's art through the lens of French playwright Antonin Artaud, who blames society for driving Van Gogh to suicide. Jeanne Yurman reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Vincent Van Gogh took his own life in 1890. But it was society that drove him to it. That's the perspective of a new exhibition of 55 of the Dutch painter's works at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France. Looking at those famous bold and intense brushstrokes one can feel Van Gogh's anguish. The exhibit, 'The Man Driven to Suicide by Society' is based on French playwright and theater director Antonin Artaud's view that external pressures pushed the Dutch artist to suicide. Chief curator of the museum, Isabelle Cahn. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHIEF CURATOR AT THE MUSEE D'ORSAY ISABELLE CAHN SAYING: "Artaud's text is very interesting since it goes against all received ideas on Van Gogh, and above all against a theory which appeared at the time on the diagnosis of Van Gogh's madness, and Artaud wrote no, Van Gogh is not mad, he was pushed to suicidal despair by society which rejected his works. So that's an astounding theory, since from that moment on he went on to accuse people, and society as a whole, of pushing Van Gogh to suicide." Artaud was born six years after Van Gogh's death but apparently felt a kinship for the tormented painter, resulting in the unique editorial slant portrayed in the exhibition. It's also said to be a landmark display because it includes nearly double the number of Van Gogh works typically on show.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Van Gogh exhibit blames society, not artist, for his madness

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 01:32