Manet, Degas, Turner and others were also successful in earning a decent living from their art. The American expatriate, Whistler was the toast of London. Though he, like Rembrandt, had difficulty managing money, neither had difficulty making it. The two most common icons held up to support the starving artist mystique are inevitably Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Even if we allow some legitimacy in both cases, it must be noted that one was mad, and the other rejected a comfortable living as a banker and chose the exile of society in what might be considered the ultimate mid-life crisis. van Gogh chose to short-circuit his rise to fame by ending his life early. Gauguin chose the bare-chested beauties of Tahiti and a severe case of syphilis which ended his life just three years short of fame and social acceptance of his work.
|The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse),|
1910, Albert Pinkham Ryder