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An article by Eddie Wrenn, published on Mail Online and titled The incredible images that show how a colour-blind person sees the world (and why it might explain Van Gogh's genius) reports that Kazunori Asada, a Japanese scientist, by using a tool called "Chromatic Vision Simulator," has argued that Van Gogh was color vision deficiency.

In the same page are published the results of Asada's study, and we can see some Gogh's pictures compared with the "colourblind version[s]."

Whereas Kyle Chayka, in an article published on Blouin ArtInfo (International Edition), noted:

There are clear issues with Asada’s argument. First, the versions of the paintings he uses aren’t necessarily true to life. Our dependence on digital screens means that it’s hard to make colors remain stable on a computer-to-computer basis. Asada’s images aren’t of the highest quality, and there’s a strong chance the true paintings look completely different. There’s also the philosophical argument. How can we argue that van Gogh’s paintings look better through a filter? To assume that the painter’s provocative artistic choices were simply the result of a medical condition is to completely disregard his own creativity. Van Gogh’s colors are meant to clash; the unorthodox pairings were part of the Post-Impressionist and Fauvist aesthetic. Or were Paul Gauguin and André Derain also colorblind?

Was Van Gogh really colour blind?

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closed as off-topic by Sklivvz Mar 12 '14 at 18:04

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question doesn't identify a specific notable claim. Please add a reference to and quote from the published text which contains the specific claim you want to question." – Sklivvz
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What sort of evidence would you consider acceptable to convince you that Van Gogh was or wasn't color-blind, assuming his medical records aren't available? –  Oddthinking Dec 9 '12 at 23:42
I'm sorry. I'm afraid your second sentence meant little to me, and what it did mean didn't seem relevant. Perhaps you could give a concrete example? We already have one person speculating based on one set of insufficient collateral facts, and another arguing that these aren't sufficient. I don't believe that any answer will be definitive enough to make it through the Skeptics.SE community standards, which is why I ask. –  Oddthinking Dec 10 '12 at 0:23
@Odd. I cannot blame you, but, as you know, journalists, despite their skeptical training, continue to be a major vector for incorrect information, which is why I ask. –  Carlo Alterego Dec 10 '12 at 0:29
Of course, journalists are such a vector (although this one is careful to make clear that the claim is speculation.) I'm not sure you have understood my objection. Van Gogh has been dead for over 120 years. He never sat a Ishihara Color Test. We will never know the result. So asking the question is pointless - there is nothing we could provide to answer it. (I concede, I could be wrong here. Perhaps there is some sort of evidence I can't imagine. That is why I ask you for an example of acceptable evidence. If there is none, let's close the question as unanswerable.) –  Oddthinking Dec 10 '12 at 0:40
@Bummi, that is evidence that the adaption works. It isn't evidence that Van Gogh was colour blind. –  Oddthinking Dec 15 '12 at 13:31

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