Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Art and Art History

First Advisor

Kris Belden-Adams

Relational Format



For this thesis, I wanted to explore a topic that I found interesting and that I could really enjoy researching. After a study abroad course in southern France in August 2015 during which we explored the locations that inspired artworks by Vincent van Gogh, I found my topic: health and art. After more research, I discovered that this topic could develop into a thesis. Specifically, this project investigates the ways in which the medical conditions of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh affected their perspectives and relationships, and in turn, their artwork. In it, I explore the biographies of both of these artists and ways in which their health affected them from childhood to choosing a career and onward in the context of late 19th century France. I address the diagnoses that they received at the time they were living and the ways in which the treatments for and knowledge of those conditions have changed since that time. Then, I will analyze works of art through the lens of the artists' biographies and medical histories and will study the intersection of those two. While this topic has been addressed before, I propose that Lautrec's and van Gogh's medical conditions affected their lives, relationships, and careers in different ways but resulted in unique perspectives from each to view in their artworks.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.