Answers: An Artist Named Vincent vocabulary



An Artist Named Vincent

    The Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh (commonly pronounced van-GO) is world-famous for his paintings, which sell for jaw-dropping sums—many millions of dollars. Posters of his work, most famously “The Starry Night,” are   (1)ubiquitous; they can be found in any poster shop or website. But poor Van Gogh did not enjoy fame and fortune during his lifetime. Indeed, he sold only one painting before he died in 1890.

    Van Gogh’s lack of success is tied to the fact that he was almost certainly mentally ill. He was known for having very extreme mood swings. For several weeks he would be   (2)euphoric, convinced that he was the greatest of painters and on the verge of success. During the   (3)zenith of those periods, he believed he was   (4)infallible, unable to consider that he might be wrong about anything. He would paint constantly, rarely stopping to eat or sleep. He acted in   (5)impetuous ways, such as buying great quantities of books and art supplies that he could not afford. He would   (6)estrange his friends by borrowing money from them that he would never repay. Instead of apologizing for his debt, he would   (7)berate those same friends for not believing in his talent.

    Then, just as suddenly, Van Gogh would collapse. He would become   (8)maudlin and terribly depressed, unable to do anything but cry and sleep. This cycle continued; for a while he would seem normal, then intensely happy, and then he would   (9)regress into a very dark mental state. Amidst a final bout with depression, he   (10)relinquished his hope of ever getting better and committed suicide.

    It is tragic that Van Gogh lived at a time when mental illness was poorly understood. Today, it is very likely that treatment and medications could have allowed him to live a longer and far happier life.

You answered: 9~3~10~5~4~2~1~6~7~8

Yes; you’re correct,

  1. If the posters can be found in any poster shop or website, they must seem to exist everywhere (be ubiquitous).
  2. If the artist felt he was the greatest of painters, he must have been overjoyed (euphoric).
  3. At the peak (zenith) of a positive mood swing, Van Gogh believed not only that he was great at painting, but also that he was always right about everything.
  4. If Van Gogh was unable to consider that he might be wrong about anything, he must have believed he was incapable of error (infallible).
  5. Someone who buys things he cannot afford is acting with little thought (impetuous).
  6. Never repaying money borrowed from friends would alienate (estrange) them.
  7. Someone who considered himself the greatest of painters would be likely to angrily criticize (berate) anyone who didn't believe he was talented.
  8. Someone who does nothing but cry when awake would be overly emotional (maudlin).
  9. After a period of intense happiness, Van Gogh would then return (regress) to a worse condition—a very dark mental state.
  10. Tragically, because treatments and medications were not available at the time, Van Gogh gave up (relinquished) hope of getting better