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Rev Clin Esp. 2006 Jan;206(1):30-2.

[Goya, Fortuny, Van Gogh, Portinari: lead poisoning in painters across three centuries].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Meixoeiro, Vigo.


Patobiographic data of four brilliant painters who lived in three different centuries (Goya [XVIII], Fortuny and Van Gogh [XIX] and Portinari [XX]), were examined in search for a suspected lead poisoning. It is concluded that Goya's disease and deafness was probably caused by lead poisoning. Fortuny's death was probably precipitated by this illness in conjunction with malaria. This diagnosis is more problematic in Van Gogh and only a monograph favouring this was found. Portinari certainly suffered from lead poisoning and that finally caused his death. This source of the possible poisoning could be the high lead content of their paintings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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