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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

Still Life With Open Bible and Zola's La Joie de Vivre

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60(12):1182. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.60.12.1182.
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THEODORUS VAN GOGH died suddenly and unexpectedly on the doorstep of his vicarage in Neunen, the Netherlands, as he returned from a walk on March 25, 1885. He was 63 years old and had apparently had a heart attack. His death proved pivotal for his son Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). Although at one time Vincent had idolized his father, after his own experiences as an evangelist, he argued with him frequently about traditional views of religion. Because of disagreements, on Christmas Day 1881, his father had asked him to leave the family home; 2 years later Vincent had returned penniless. Theodorus welcomed him and accepted him back into the home but did not accept his son's manner of dress or his ideas, writing to Vincent's brother Theo, "[I]t is a pity he is so reserved, there is simply no changing the fact that he is eccentric."1(p255) Vincent wrote to Theo that although he loved his father,

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Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), Dutch. Still Life With Open Bible and Zola's La Joie de Vivre,1885. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Copyright Snark/Art Resource, New York, NY.

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