Leaving Van Gogh

Leaving Van Gogh - Carol Wallace Carol Wallace's "Leaving Van Gogh" tells the story of Vincent van Gogh's last days, through the eyes of Dr. Gachet. Friend, physician and portrait subject, Gachet attempted to relieve van Gogh's melancholy during his time in Auvers.The book is obviously well-researched, showing a variety of ways in which the mentally ill were treated during van Gogh's time (Gachet was an advocate of the so-called moral treatment, with nutritious food, rest and whatever meaningful work a patient was able to accomplish). Wallace includes a number of historical personae in the story along with Gachet and van Gogh, and an outstanding afterword that explains what happened to some of them.Overall, this is not only a well-constructed historical novel about one of the most fascinating artists of the past 200 years, but also an excellent look at the history of psychiatric medicine. I recommend it highly.