Famous Migraineurs: Vincent Van Gogh

Patient Expert

Vincent van Gogh, born in Groot-Zundert, Holland, on March 30, 1853 may have suffered from _Migraine or another headache disorder _ during his short, yet prolific art career. Certainly, there were references to "headache" in his personal correspondence. Researchers speculate that Van Gogh also had bipolar disorder and epilepsy. Born to Theodorus Van Gogh, a minister, and his wife Anna Carbentus, he came from a large family of five siblings; Theodorus, Cornelius, Anna, Elizabeth and Withelmein. The year before Vincent was born, his parents had another child, who was unfortunately stillborn. Van Gogh's parent's named this baby Vincent, then buried him near the family home, placing a tombstone with his namesake on it. This surely would have been a haunting memory for any child.

Van Gogh's early education was spent in village schools, where he drew and painted on a regular basis. His mother was a great source of encouragement for him. During his pre-teen years he was sent to two different boarding schools where he did exceptionally well in French, German, and English. When he was 15, during the midst of his academic school year, he suddenly left school and returned home, never finishing any formal education.

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© HealthCentral Network, 2011. Last updated March 28,2011.