We can be thankful that modern medicine exists today, but if it had existed during the 16th to 19th centuries, the world might have missed out on the work of some of the world's most creative painters, sculptors and poets.
Pathologist Dr. Paul Wolf thinks that some of the world's greatest artists may have been creatively driven by the effects of their disease or the drugs and chemicals they ingested to try to heal themselves. Michelangelo depicted his own mental and physical conditions in paintings and sculpture. His right knee was swollen and deformed by gout. He would go for days on a diet of bread and wine, drinking wine processed in lead containers and possibly working with lead-based paints. Lead can injure the kidneys, resulting an increase in uric acid, which causes gout. It is also believed that he suffered from depression. Would Michelangelo have been driven to create the marvelous fresco paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel had this depressive disease been diagnosed and treated with modern drugs?
If we could somehow transport painter Vincent Van Gogh to a modern hospital today, doctors would diagnose him with epilepsy and manic-depression and treat his symptoms with lithium carbonate instead of the drug digitalis, which was prescribed for him by his doctor. Absinthe, which he reportedly enjoyed to excess and may have used to treat his illnesses, wouldn?t be available at the local liquor store. Absinthe has the side effect of inducing "yellow vision," and yellow is a major theme in Van Gogh's art. Patients over-medicated with digitalis can also develop yellow vision or see rings of light.
Some modern medicines cause people to see a tinted world as well. For instance, some men taking Viagra see everything colored slightly blue?are we going to notice this in some of our modern art? Only time will reveal this.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
Dr. Lynne Kitei is a physician, but she's also a realartist, who writes books and makes films. This week on Dreamland Whitley talks to her about meditation and her near-death experience (and hearing a doctor talk about this is a mind-opening experience). Be sure and get a copy of her book and DVD. If you order both together from the Unknowncountry.com store, input coupon code KT1 to get $2.00 off your order! DR. LYNNE ON THE TRAVEL CHANNEL: Dr. Lynne will appear on a Travel Channel special about the Phoenix Lights that premieres on February 27 at 10PM Eastern Time.
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