structedThe most successful or famous artists are not always as
happy as successful people are portrayed- living a life of
fame, fortune, and glamour. The following examples will
show some of the problems that four different artists have
suffered in the past century. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch
painter who lived from March 30, 1853 to July 29, 1890.

He is now one of the most famous painters in modern art
(World Book 306). He only sold one painting in his living
days, but now his paintings are considered priceless. Some
of his paintings and drawings include: The Bedroom at
Arles 1888 Self-Portrait 1888 Vase with 12 Sunflowers
1888 Langlois Bridge with Women Washing 1888
(Sweetman 378) Those are just a few of his
accomplishments, though he has created many, many more
works of art. In 1888, artist Paul Gaugin moved into
Vincents house with him. At first everything worked out
fine, but within the year, their personalities started to clash,
and big problems arose. Then, on December 23, 1888,
Paul Gaugin was taking a walk in the nearby public garden,
when, according to his memoir Avant et Apres,” Vincent
chased after Gaugin with an open razor blade. But, when
Gaugin turned around, Vincent turned and ran home.

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Gaugin decided that this threat was too much for him to
take, so he checked into a hotel room for the night. When
Paul Gaugin arrived at home the next morning, he saw a
crowd of police officers and citizens surrounding the house.

When he went in the house he saw that there was blood
everywhere- on towels and blankets, then a trail leading up
the stairs. When he got to Vincents bedroom, he found
him curled up on his bed covered in sheets pink with blood.

Gaugin thought Vincent was dead, but when he went to
touch his friends hand, it radiat! ed warmth from his
friends body (Sweetman 290). Gaugin found out later that
Vincent had cut off almost his whole left ear, wrapped it in
newspaper, and given it to his friend Rachel. He then said
Guard this object carefully (Sweetman 293). Some
reasons speculated for this unusual self-destruction were: 1.

Schizophrenia 2. He failed to harm Paul Gaugin so he
turned the violence on himself? 3. He was just filled with
self-loathing? It was later discovered that he was tormented
by voices and was having hallucinations. Had he attempted
to silence the voices by cutting off the offending organ?
(Sweetman 294) Vincent van Gogh began having nervous
attacks in 1888, and his doctor diagnosed him with having
some sort of epilepsy. He then went back to painting
(Sweetman 296). Vincent was fully conscious of his state,
and after about four months he went to live at the asylum of
St. Paul-de-Mausole. He left the asylum after a few months
and returned to painting again. But the nervous attacks did
not stop. Then in 1890 when he realized that his epileptic
state was incurable, he committed suicide (Sweetman 303).

On July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh attempted suicide-
but he didnt die. After lunch, Vincent went to Chateau
dAuvers. He leaned his easel against a haystack, and went
down to the Chateau wall. He held a revolver to his chest,
pulled the trigger, and fainted. When he came to, he
searched for the weapon he had used, but could not find it.

So he got up and walked to a friends house in town
(Sweetman 341). The friends called a doctor, and the
doctor dressed the bullet wound. No vital organ including
the heart had been hit. But the doctors decided that if
Vincent wanted to die, they would let him. He was not
taken to a hospital, and the doctors left (Sweetman 342).

On July 28, 1890, Theodore, Vincents brother came to
where Vincent was staying. Though he was in good
condition, as the day wore on, infection set in Because
doctors believed that leaving the wound alone and not
taking out the bullet would make it heal faster. There was a
period where suffocation was near as he struggled for
breath. When Theodore realized that his only brother was
dying, he got on the bed beside Vincent and cradled his
head in his arms. I wish I could pass away like this,
Vincent said. Half an hour later, his last wish was granted.

Vincent van Gogh died at 1:30 in the morning, July 29,
1890 (Sweetman 343). James Douglas Morrison was the
lead singer in the very popular late 1960s rock group The
Doors. He was born in 1943, and he died in 1971. His
long list of accomplishments includes his albums: The Doors
January, 1967 Strange Days October, 1967 Waiting for
the Sun July, 1968 The Soft Parade July, 1969 Morrison
Hotel February, 1970 Absolutely Live July, 1970 13
November, 1970 L.A. Woman April, 1971 These albums
were all made with The Doors (Riordan-Prochnicky
515). On July 2, 1971, Jim and his wife Pamela were
sleeping in their Paris apartment, when Jim awoke coughing
and complaining of chest pains, and decided to take a bath.

When Pam woke at about 5 a.m. on July 3, Jim hadnt
come back to bed. She checked in the bathroom and saw
him still in the tub. Then she realized the horrible truth- he
was dead (Riordan-Prochnicky 451). There were many
different reasons speculated about the cause of his death:
Respiratory Illness Blood clots in his lung Punctured Lungs
Alcoholism Heart Attacks (Riordan-Prochnicky 458) The
official death certificate of Jim Morrison said that he died of
heart failure. But heart failure is not a direct cause of death-
it is a result of something else that causes death
(Riordan-Prochnicky 453). Jims death also may have
been a result of the pressures of being a rock star. Around
June of 1971, Jim Morrison made this statement: Im 27
years old. This is too old to be a rock singer. It doesnt
make sense anymore. Im so sick of everything. People
keep thinking of me as a rockn roll star and I dont want
anything to do with it. I cant stand it anymore
(Riordan-Prochnicky 447). The cause of Jim Morrisons
death remained unknown for years, but one day in the early
1980s, an unidentified source came forward and said: On
the night of July 2, 1971, Pam called a very close friend of
mine. She was all in tears and said that Jim had gotten into
her heroin and overdosed. She didnt want that to come
out, so she worked out a plan and covered it up. This was
later confirmed to be the official cause of Jim Morrisons
death by Diane Gardiner, who was Pam Morrisons closest
friend at the time of Jim Morrisons intentional death
(Riordan-Prochnicky 458). Virginia Stephen Woolf was a
very talented writer who lived from January 25, 1882 to
March 28, 1941. These are some of the books that she has
written: The Voyage Out 1915 Kew Gardens 1919 Mr.

Bennett and Mrs. Brown 1924 The Common Reader 1925
Orlando 1928 A Letter to a Young Poet 1932 The
Common Reader: 2nd Series 1932 The Years 1937 Pointz
Hall (Between the Acts) was finished on February 26,
1941. It was published after her death. She was also
awarded the Femina de Heureuse prize in May of 1928
(Bell 252). On the morning of March 28, 1941, Virginia
wrote both her husband and her sister letters telling them
how important they were to her. She then walked to the
river near her house. Leaving her walking stick on the bank
next to the river, she forced a huge rock into the pocket of
her coat. Then she jumped into the ice cold river- her death
(Bell 226). The only known reason of her suicide is that
World War II was going on and this extremely disturbed
her. It gave her a strange mental illness, and she began to
hear voices. The voices told her to end her life so he did-
by drowning herself. Kurt Donald Cobain was the singer
and lead guitarist in the band Nirvana. He was born
February 20, 1967, and he died April 8, 1994. Some of
his accomplishments include his 5 albums: Bleach June,
1989 Blew December, 1989 Nevermind September, 1991
Incesticide December, 1992 In Utero September, 1993
These albums were all made by Kurt and the other two
members of Nirvana. Nirvana has also contributed some of
their songs to other albums: Mexican Seafood on
Teriyaki Asthma Vol. 1, November, 1989. Do You Love
Me on Kiss tribute album Hard to Believe. Beeswax
on Kill Rock Stars compilation, August, 1991. Return of
the Rat on Eight Songs for Greg Sage and the Wipers,
June, 1992. Verse, Chorus, Verse on No Alternative
compilation, 1993 (Azzerad 357). Before Kurt Cobain
actually committed suicide, he attempted it once in a hotel
in Rome, Italy, in March of 1994. He fell into a coma after
ingesting a reported 50 tablets of Rohypnol, which is a
powerful depressant. He was very close to death in the
coma, but he came out of it and lived (Azzerad 344).

Around April 6, 1994 Kurt Cobains mother filed a missing
person report on Kurt when he ran away from a California
treatment facility. She said that he had bought a shotgun
and he may be suicidal. Then, on April 8, 1994, Kurt
Cobain was found shot to death in his home in Seattle,
Washington. Gary Smith was an electrician who had come
to the house of Kurt Cobain, Kurts wife Courtney Love,
and their daughter Francis Bean Cobain to install a security
system, when he found Kurts body in the second floor of
the garage with a suicide note nearby. Smith called the
police, and the police could not identify the body, but they
took him to a hospital and a doctor there identified the
body to be that of Kurt Cobain (Maples 7). Kurt Cobain
supposedly had many problems in his life. Some medical
problems were an incurable stomach pain, chronic
bronchitis, and scoliosis. But, there were many reasons that
were theorized for his suicide. He was depressed because:
a) His band was on the verge of breaking up. b) His
marriage to Courtney Love was on the rocks. But the
reason that many of his fans have found believable was the
fact that he had re-entered his heroin habit that he had just
recently overcome. This was so devastating to him that he
just couldnt take it and took the easiest way out- suicide
(Maples 7). These artists all have gone to the extreme of
committing suicide. And though many of their works have
been exemplary, the endings of their lives definitely were
not.


Category: History