André Roks asks whether absinthe played a role in Vincent’s creativity. Have a look at the answer.
Vincent didn’t paint if he was ill, nor if he’d had too much to drink. Alcohol didn’t play a role in his creativity, but Van Gogh did enjoy a tipple.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted a portrait of his friend with a glass of absinthe on the table in front of him, and according to fellow artist Paul Signac, Vincent always went to the bar in the evening where the ‘absinthes and brandies would follow each other in quick succession’.
Van Gogh even later admitted that his departure for Arles came in the nick of time: ‘I was certainly well on the way to catching a paralysis when I left Paris. It caught up with me afterwards, right enough! When I stopped drinking, when I stopped smoking so much, when I started reflecting on things again instead of trying not to think — my God, what melancholias and what dejection’.
Alcohol didn’t impair Vincent’s creative abilities, but certainly affected his health.