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October 25, 1971

Vincent Van Gogh And Glaucoma

Author Affiliations

Santa Monica, Calif

JAMA. 1971;218(4):595. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190170073025

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To the Editor.—  With respect to the conditions leading to "Night Cafe," and the halos about the lamps, A.M. Hammacher, in his stunning pictorial text, Genius and Disaster: The Ten Creative Years of Vincent Van Gogh (New York, Harry N. Abrams Inc, 1968) says it succinctly:In the summer of 1888, another sign of the increased formative power of Vincent's observation under the force of inner tension was the new vigor of his drawing. His hand had never been so firm, nor his sight so clear; it was as if the birth of the world and all its objects were taking place again through his creative energy. The symbol is then the circle.This was barely two years before his suicide; "Night Cafe" was painted in September 1888.If there is sufficient evidence to substantiate visual affliction in the Dutchman, let it come forth. Otherwise, to use ophthalmologic symptoms to

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