Learn more about artists from history that had suspected or confirmed vision impairment
and how their eyesight may have influenced their work.

Paolo Monti - Servizio fotografico (Venezia, 1962) - BEIC 6328562
GIACOMETTI by Paolo Monti - Servizio fotografico (Venezia, 1962) - BEIC 6328562

One artist who I always thought had an eye deficiancy is GIACOMETTI. His strange elongated sculptures and his strong expression make an enormous impression on me. But there is no mention of that whatsoever.
He does say that his view changed completely when he came out of a cinema one night in Montparnasse in 1948. I wonder what film he did see, but there is no mention of that either.
Or, could it be that he had seen the elongated Etruskan figures in the Louvre around that time?

see slide # 02-01a-70 and slide # 02-01b-70

Alberto Giacometti in Wikipedia | www.tate.org.uk |

You could try to read this interview with your class. It is interesting and confusing at the same time, just see what they make of it: www.theguardian.co.uk - and let me know.

This GIACOMETTI's sculpture was offered in a secretive 'sealed-bid' sale by Sotheby - with a minimum price of &US$; 90 million. see slide # 02 01.
Vincent Willem van Gogh 098
'Memory of the Garden at Etten or Ladies of Arles (Souvenir du jardin) (November 1888)', Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
One other famous artist who might have had an eye deficiancy is Vincent VAN GOGH. He may very well have been colourblind to some degree which could have contributed to his interesting colour palette.
Important to know in this respect is that, over the years, colours have changed significantly in van Gogh's paintings. His purple colors turned blue, orange changed into yellow or less bright orange and red paint changed into less bright red or even green and brown. (www.vangoghstudio.com)
Was Vincent van Gogh Colour Blind?  www.smithsonianmag.com

Here are many tests to test colourblindness: www.colorlitelens.com
Do read these notes before you start!

Here are links to 2 very interesting articles with much more info on the eyes of famous artists. The lesson of all this? Vision impairment may influence an artist work for better or for worse.

  • Leonardo da Vinci and intermittent exotropia
  • Edgar Degas, photophobic and retinopathy
  • Guercino and esotropia
  • Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne and myopia
  • Claude Monet, bilateral cataracts

"Today, many of the conditions that affected these artists can be treated and corrected, but we cannot help but wonder: Would they have reached the same heights if they had been able to perceive the world with perfect sight?"
Or, an epitaph in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Florence, Italy: Here lies Salvino dArmato, of the Armati of Florence, inventor of spectacles: May God forgive him [for] his sins. A.D. 1317

And in this interesting article Veronica Lewis explains 10 ways vision impairment influenced classic artists.
Veronica Lewis/Veronica With Four Eyes, Veroniiiica.com