Dr. Francesc Xavier Buqueras Bach

Psychiatrist, member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia and past vice president of the Catholic Doctors of Catalonia

H i s t o r i c a l C o n s i d e r a t i o n s , 

 P s y c h o b i o g r a p h i e s,  

 C l i n i c a l – P s y c h o p a t h o l o g i e s,  

S o c i o – C u l t u r a l , M e d i c a l – A s s i s t e n c e,  

E t h i c a l – L e g a l and A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l – E x i s t e n c i a l  A n a l y s i s P h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l and S u i c i d a l E p i c r i t i c a l  

Vincent Van Gogh

1. – P R E S E N T A T I O N  

a) A Portrait of Dr. Felix Rey 

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who committed suicide at the age of 37. 

A V a n G O G H i n t h e c h i c k e n c o o p a n d o t h e r   i n c r e d i b l e s t o r i e s i n t h e w o r l d o f A r t” 


Edhasa. Argentina, 2017 

In the presentation of the book “A P o r t r a i t o f D r. F e l i x R e y” this  quotation literally appears: 

“ Vincent Van GOGH or the Accursed Painter,  

Insane/Genius/Failed/Misunderstood/Original/Clairvoyant/Creator/Hallucinator/ Prophet — Strike out what does not correspond” 

Few times in history has the Name of an Artist evoked as many Ghosts, and has  unleashed as many Passions, to the degree that denotes  

A r t and S u p e r s t a r.’ 

b) V i n c e n t V a n G O G H and Active Melancholic Depression 

A r t i s t s t h r o u g h t h e i r e m o t i o n s’  

Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals. 2.020 

T h e s a d n e s s t h a t w i l l l a s t f o r e v e r” 

Vincent Van GOGH (1853-1890) first took up his Paintbrush at the age of 28 and  died at 37 years of age. 

In this brief span of time he revolutionised Impressionism with his personal stamp  through more than 2,000 works, even if he only sold a few during his lifetime. 

Oils such as “S u n f l o w e r s” and “S t a r r y N i g h t” as well as dozens of Self  Portraits turned him into the maximum symbol of Postimpressionism with an  enormous influence on Art in the 20th Century. 

For Vincent Van GOGH, M E L A N C H O L Y was a fount of Creativity and  Torment. He suffered it from a young age, ,and it shaped him to such a degree that  the Painter became the most famous Madman in the history of Art.

This E m o t i o n, this N O S T A L G I A is as old as art itself. For example, ’ M e l a  n c h o l y I ‘, by DURERO, or ‘ O f e l i a ‘ by SHAKESPEARE or the  ‘ P s y c h o l a n d s c a p e s‘ by the Romantic Painters are but some samples of  the great body of artwork created submerged in this emotion. 

2. – M O T I V A C I ON  

a) Why V i n c e n t V a n G O G H?  

Why did I choose the figure of the Great Painter? 

Was it a hidden desire, possibly repressed? 

Do we have adequate answers to these questions we are formulating? 

It’s another topic in “P s y c h i a t r y and H U M A N I S M”  

within Monographic Works: 

b) Monographic Works  

– ‘ Doctor Antonio Pujades and the Sant Boi Insane Asylum ‘;  – ‘ Dr. Dídac Parellada, Humanistic Psychiatry ‘;  

– ‘ The alcoholic intemperance of Paul Verlaine ;  

– ‘ Logotherapy and ’Existential Analysis by Viktor Frankl ‘;  

– ‘ What is the expert opinion of a Psychiatric Doctor?’;  

– ‘ Archetypes and the Tower of Bollingen in Jung’;  

– ‘ The fleeing of Tolstói: Psychobiography and Personality Traits ‘;  – ‘ Anthropological Spirituality by Vladimir Hudolin ‘; –  ‘ The Week of a Psychiatrist at the Monestary of Poblet ‘; 

c) Response 

We have An Answer as cited by Brother Josep Maria in my ‘Obsessions and  Compulsions’ which is why the catalogue of works assists in understanding this  position.  

d) The attraction of the Figure of Va n G O G H. 

Van GOGH holds a special attractiveness for any Medical Psychiatrist with a  Humanistic Calling

Not only for the Clinical Psychiatric Evaluation attributable to SELF  MUTILATION AND SUICIDE, but for a Precarious Life filled with failures and disappointments, as well as certain Personality Traits which require their due  attention. 

If we compare this with Lev Tolstoi’s Written Works, we could say that the most  important novel with the most penetrative social implications isn’t “War and  Peace”, or “Anna Karenina”, but “Resurrection”

Therefore, if we make a comparison with Vincent Van GOGH, the key question isn’t  “for what reason did the great painter Self-Mutilate and Commit Suicide”, instead we  could Ask: 

 How is it possible that Vincent Van GOGH, who had 4 close relatives whom  were Art Dealers (his brother, Theo, plus three paternal uncles) didn’t sell more than  One Painted Work in his lifetime? 

e) Principal Motivation 

But the principal motivation that has impulsed me to study Van GOGH and to reach  a better understanding and share my findings is to leave an: 


In other words, a mark, footprint, or signal able to favourably  modify social prejudice or wrongheaded ideas, stereotypes, myths  and taboos that persist around madness, insanity and Insane  Asylums. 

f) A practical application of this Understanding 

Effectively, the Medical Psychiatrist, beside his Knowledge and Scientific  Understanding, is able to transmit his: 


An appreciation of the occurances in the life of Van GOGH are equally as important  and crucial, that they break with Social Norms and provoke Perplexity and  Estrangement

g) V a n G O G H, ‘The crazy Red Head ‘  

El On the 7 of August, 1890, the readership of ‘l’É c h o P o n t o i s e n ‘ found out  about a Singular Occurence:

“ On Sunday, the 27th of July, Van GOGH, of 37 years of age, Dutch Painter ,  Resident in Auvers, shot himself in the countryside with a revolver, and mortally  wounded, returned to his Hotel room, where he died three days later “. 

. . . . . . The Fated Outcome of the ‘ Red Headed Madman‘, as terrible as it  was, didn’t appear to be so Discordant, in fact, it seemed the logical outcome of a  life of Self Destruction and Distemperment, Result of a Melancholic  Depression that had always been there. 

Vincent Van GOGH was born on the 30th of March in 1853 in the Dutch  countryside known as Z u n d e r t, but he wasn’t the first Vincent of the Pastor  Theodorus and Anna Cornelia, his progenitors.  

Another Vincent saw the light of day, exactly one year prior, even if short lived.  The Firstborn died prematurely. In this respect, the Second Vincent came to this  world with a gravestone over his chest, the stone of M e l a n c holic Depression.  

His P arents did not make it easy for him, he was regarded as a Copy and not an  Original, an Imperfect Substitute. Luckily, there was also another Theodorus.  

His Brother Theo, his Guardian Angel, was born on the 1st of May, 1857. Vincent  was at that point Four Years Old, but for all purposes, Theo fulfilled the role of  the elder siblingr. 

Vincent’s Childhood was E r r a t i c , as the rest of his Life. He was Red  Headed and Stocky, but possibly because of E m o c i o n a l S a b o t a g e he  felt H o r r i b l e did not take long to shut himself inward, with a bare minimum of  relationships, feeding his Loneliness and Bitterness.  

His P a rents never stopped sending him to Boarding Schools: possibly to keep  him out of sight. The first one was Z e v e n b e r g e n, in 1864, where he  completed his first drawing. Two years later, he was registered at the I n s t i t u t  T i b u r g H a n n i k , where he remained until he abandoned his Studies at 15  years of age. Here, his relationship with Art begins.  

But the A c a d e m i c World was not made for him In this,  D E P P R E S S I V E M E L A N C H O L Y served him, because it  sharpened his Perception of the World and as a consequence, gave him a  S e n s i bility as a Autodidactic Learner.  

3. – O B J E C T IVES 

What are the O b j e c t i ves of this paper ?  

a) The first Objective is to make more people aware of the B i o g r a phy (better,  yet, the Psychobiography) and the P e r s o n a l i ty Traits of Van GOGH as  Rationally and Scientifically as possible, with the objective of separating out the  ‘ Erroneous Ideas ‘ and ’ S t e r e o t y p e s ‘ surrounding him.  

b) In other words, breaking through MENTAL PRISMS we construct in the forms  of societal prejudice, erroneous ideas, myths and taboos surrounding mental illness,  insanity and the Sanatoriums or treatment centers. 

c) Treat the A c t of S u ic i d e with scientific rigor, and an empathic  understanding, the only way to reach the truth, recognising the act of suicide as a  taboo subject, Hidden and Complex to understand for its haloed connotations.

d) Without a doubt, Van GOGH’s Suicide is a fact that has ‘ C o m p l i c a  ted ‘ the P e r c e p c ion of this Historic F i g u r e as all suicides generate  Ideologically Discomforting Challenges. 

e) However, besides these Dramatic Facts (Self-Mu t i l a c i on and S u i c i d e),  Vincent’s attested way of being was Quite Problematic during the Scholarly Age,  which merits a Deeper Study with the finality of exploring the Following Questions: 

– What was the cause of the F a m i l i a l D i s t a n c i n g ?;  – What does the M E L A N C H O L Y he experienced actually mean?;  – Why the tendency towards S o l i t u d e and S o c i a l I s o l a t i o n ?;  – How is it that in the E c c l e s i a s t i c a l E n v i r o n m e n t that his altruism  was never recognised?;  

 – What is the explanation for the repetition of his G O O D B Y E S and F a i l e d  R o m a n c e s?;  

f) Are we facing just another Monographic Subject in ‘ P s y c h i a t r y and  H u m a n i t i e s ‘ ?

g) Well, it was that he wasn’t recognised as a Pa i n t e r

4. – D I F F I C U L T I E S  

I am aware of the difficulties associated with the Study of Vincet Van GOGH and as with any P s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c P o r t r a i t it constitutes a C h a l l  e n g e that requires a Reliable and Precise response with a modicum of Credibility. 

Whichever P s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l P o r t r a i t will evince  insurmountable Difficulties from the outset by its P s y c h o l o g i c a l N a t u r e  reliant on the immesurable nature of E m o t i o n s and S e n t i m e n t s. 

Psychiatry is a Medical Specialty of Q u a l i t a t i v e D i s t i n c t i o n which  obligates us to make a series of O b s e r v a t i o n s and R e f l e c t i o n s

First. The mentally ill person does not have awareness of their Mental Illness. Did  Van GOCH have it ? 

Second. The S y m p t o m o l o g y is inconsistent For example., a Melancholic  D e p r e s s i o n is characterised by feelings of Guilt, Sleep disorders, Innate  Sadness, Disconnection, and none of these S y m p t o m s are Measureable. 

Third. J U S T I C E and P S Y C H I A T R Y are Sciences both  antagonistic and estranged from one another. 

Once, directing my remarks at a Judge presiding over a case, in the capacity of a  Medical Psychiatrist, I asked him if I could formulate some questions, given that he  was unable to understand the problem of the accused. 

His Honor: – What color does Sadness Have ?;  

– How much does Moral pain weigh?; and,  

– What texture does Psychic Harm have?