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Vincent Van Gogh: An Introverted Feeling or Introverted Sensation type?

Lazinc

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Which type do you think Van Gogh was?

800px-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

I'll leave this quote from the GiftsCompass website:

"The type theoretically dominant in ego consciousness would be introverted feeling, but introverted intuition or introverted sensation are often dominant when extraverted thinking is lodged in the “unconscious” shadow.

We can see archaic extraverted thinking in Vincent van Gogh, who likely favoured introverted sensation as a lead type. In his articles to his brother Theo, one can hear introverted sensation in his vivid description of nature and the painting he has been working on:

“Yesterday, at sunset, I was on a stony heath where very small, twisted oaks grow, in the background a ruin on the hill, and wheat fields in the valley . . . The sun was pouring its very yellow rays over the bushes and the ground, absolutely a shower of gold.” (Letter 636)

He also writes about his health problems, emotional turmoil, and troubled financial situation, which frequently concerned him. In one of those articles, we can hear his resistance to the administrative detail that would enable him to order his finances."
 
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Indigo Rodent

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ENTJ. Just look at his eyes, it's tertiary Se. The use of colour and texture in his best paintings also fits tertiary Se well.
 

Koto

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I don't know van Gogh well enough to have an educated opinion on his type, but I know typology well enough to advise not giving credence to that ENTJ conclusion.
The first quote you give is interesting though as it implies the tertiary holding the opposing attitude of the dominant, or the attitude of the unconscious, hence IxEE/ExII, something I can get behind. From the info given, I'm leaning towards ISFP over ISFJ (SiFi > FiSi), though there isn't much given in the way of arguments for the latter type here.
 

Vendrah

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I don't know van Gogh well enough to have an educated opinion on his type
Me neither.
But the popular opinion at personality-database (voting website) is INFP - 4w5 - sx/sp - 458 - IEI - RLUEI - ELVF - Melancholic [Dominant]. But on a more classical Jung, could be Si-dom.
 
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Koto

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Me neither.
But the popular opinion at personality-database (voting website) is INFP - 4w5 - sx/sp - 458 - IEI - RLUEI - ELVF - Melancholic [Dominant]. But on a more classical Jung, could be Si-dom.

So that rules out INFP then ;p
 

MaxMad244

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For anyone to sit for hours end and construct artwork like this, they would have to be, in my opinion, introverted sensing or feeling dominant/auxiliary in nature. Hear me out....I had many gifts in the arts but one thing I could not do is sit and work on something for a prolonged period of time without a feedback loop. This is why I am most certainly an INTJ and at very worst, an ENTJ. I can build something over time but I need feedback (extroverted thinking). I need a feedback loop to conduct an experiment to determine that whatever I make or create is actually going to be affective with respects to my own criteria - which is usually an unpopular, crude, vague value (tertiary FI). Each microtransaction is scrutinized and stress tested. As a result of my reductive induction, I could never write a book or paint something because I would soon determine it's pointless. But I could build a system.

Similarly, or inversely, for someone to be able to sit and construct art that is highly subjective and impressionistic, they would have to be an introverted sensor dominant (or close to). This sort of art takes literally upward of 100 hours per week of solitude with no feedback system in place to provide objective guidance.
 
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Me neither.
But the popular opinion at personality-database (voting website) is INFP - 4w5 - sx/sp - 458 - IEI - RLUEI - ELVF - Melancholic [Dominant]. But on a more classical Jung, could be Si-dom.
He isn't an IEI by the way, let alone SX 4 or even 458 tri-type, these combinations are silly and don't work at all.
I don't think he is Si type by Jungian, he seemed to be more of that 'unpredictable like a river therefore cold' Fi archetype according to the Psychological Types.
But he is SEI and presumably an SX 9, but I think SO 4 works better.
 

Lazinc

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He isn't an IEI by the way, let alone SX 4 or even 458 tri-type, these combinations are silly and don't work at all.
I don't think he is Si type by Jungian, he seemed to be more of that 'unpredictable like a river therefore cold' Fi archetype according to the Psychological Types.
But he is SEI and presumably an SX 9, but I think SO 4 works better.
Jung "Abstract sensation, on the other hand, immediately picks out the most salient sensuous attribute of the flower, as for instance its brilliant redness, and makes it the sole or at least the principal content of consciousness, entirely detached from all the other admixtures alluded to above.
Abstract sensation is mainly suited to the artist".

How would you explain him being an introverted feeling type and being an artist?
 
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Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Having coming to the understanding about Si, I feel like I'd have to understand Fi better to come to his conclusion.

He did pursue a career as a priest for a bit but was essentially kicked out because he wasn't interested in pursuing the respectability required by his church. He was more interested in getting close to the poor and living with them. I think he believed they had a simpler purer experience but he may have also wanted to be of service to them. I would be inclined to say that sounds rather INFP.
 

MaxMad244

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I could see INFP too. The problem with highly creative types and typology is that highly creative type swill tend to be higher on the scale of openness and neuroticism. The same genes that correlate to schizophrenia also correlate to creativity so there is a blurring of lines and a lack of boundaries involved both inside and outside. This can make it irrational and psychotic decisions seem like highly subjective feeling value functions when in reality they could also just be off the wall extroverted feelers.

But I could definitely see INFP.

However, even if he is introverted feeling type of person....I'm not sure...didn't he cut off his own ear when his temper flared?

I know some INFP's and they tend to be more like water than fire...but I could be generalizing. Van Goh had a militant bent and an abrupt explosive temper...I wouldn't be surprised if he was a psychotic ISTJ.

I know that probably sounds ridiculous....but I'm pretty sure he had some sort of borderline schizophrenia, and I also know the man was meticulous and organized in some capacity.

But yeah being an INFP is probably a better fit if you average out his insanity into his personality....but can you really do that...is that fair?
 

Koto

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Jung "Abstract sensation, on the other hand, immediately picks out the most salient sensuous attribute of the flower, as for instance its brilliant redness, and makes it the sole or at least the principal content of consciousness, entirely detached from all the other admixtures alluded to above.
Abstract sensation is mainly suited to the artist".

How would you explain him being an introverted feeling type and being an artist?

Sadly, the majority of responses you're going to get aren't going to be along the lines of Jung. It feels like most people are of the opinion of him being a introverted type prioritising sensation and feeling, but instead of that translating to ISFx (FiSi/FiSx/SiFi/SiFx), you get things like INFP (seen as FiNe instead of NiFi/NiFx) and ISTJ (seen as SiTe instead of TiSi/TiX). I don't think wanting to be of service jumps out as being INFP to me, if anything it leans more on the side of SF whereas humanitarian is better way of describing the NF types; either way it's too little information for me to rule out anything on that basis. Van Gogh doesn't seem like a J type to me, and dominant introverted sensation does speak to the temperament of the classic 'tortured artist'; ISFP seems like the best bet, and it also corroborates the unconcsious Te that you mentioned earlier (tertiary).
 

MaxMad244

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Sadly, the majority of responses you're going to get aren't going to be along the lines of Jung. It feels like most people are of the opinion of him being a introverted type prioritising sensation and feeling, but instead of that translating to ISFx (FiSi/FiSx/SiFi/SiFx), you get things like INFP (seen as FiNe instead of NiFi/NiFx) and ISTJ (seen as SiTe instead of TiSi/TiX). I don't think wanting to be of service jumps out as being INFP to me, if anything it leans more on the side of SF whereas humanitarian is better way of describing the NF types; either way it's too little information for me to rule out anything on that basis. Van Gogh doesn't seem like a J type to me, and dominant introverted sensation does speak to the temperament of the classic 'tortured artist'; ISFP seems like the best bet, and it also corroborates the unconcsious Te that you mentioned earlier (tertiary).
I can see ISFJ....but he had an explosive militant side, think Mussolini, that doesn't really fall into the standard "tortured" artist type. I see that more as Andy Warhol, who was gay and tortured by prejudice...when I think Van Goh, we think more....of...a dictator in certain respects.

That being said....here's an excert from a letter to his brother:
I am so angry with myself because I cannot do what I should like to do, and at such a moment one feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless.
"This is my ambition, which is founded less on anger than on love, founded more on serenity than on passion. It is true that I am often in the greatest misery, but still there is within me a calm, pure harmony and music. In the poorest huts, in the dirtiest corner, I see drawings and pictures. And with irresistible force my mind is drawn towards these things. Believe me that sometimes I laugh heartily because people suspect me of all kinds of malignity and absurdity, of which not a hair of my head is guilty — I, who am really no one but a friend of nature, of study, of work, and especially of people."

Now here is where I see ISTJ:
I believe more and more that to work for the sake of the work is the principle of all great artists: not to be discouraged even though almost starving, and though one feels one has to say farewell to all material comfort.
More ISTJ:
Do you know that it is very, very necessary for honest people to remain in art? Hardly anyone knows that the secret of beautiful work lies to a great extent in truth and sincere sentiment.

Obviously ISTJ might seem like a stretch....but not really when you think that during his time the arts were considered a traditional path - similar to being an accountant, doctor, or lawyer today.
 
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MaxMad244

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Also his constant internal conflict suggests a lower order of FI. People with FI tend to easily balance internally, they have trouble adjusting with the outside world. His FI is almost like that of an INTJ or ENTJ. It's a constant weakness for him.
 

MaxMad244

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This is where I think we are taking a profession and making the typology more about the profession...than the person...for example there are plenty of ISFJ's and INFP's who are MBA's and accountants, but because of the affects of the profession on the person they test TJ.

Imagine for a second that Van Goh wasn't an artist and base your decisions exclusively on how he chose to be an artist and you will see a very traditional and standard path for him.
 

MaxMad244

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Again the following quote presents more evidence for ISTJ (inspector like qualities being entirely thorough and meticulous with ones arts, and the art is objectively good but portends towards a filter of predictable impressionism (it's not abstract or wacky or ethereal and formless - it is still rooted in realism albeit with a wishy washy filter that is perfected and the same from piece to piece).


More about his dictator like qualities and how he made other people miserable - not very ISFJ like.
“It seems as if he were two persons: one, marvelously gifted, tender and refined, the other, egotistic and hard hearted. They present themselves in turns, so that one hears him talk first in one way, then in the other, and always with arguments on both sides. It is a pity that he is his own enemy, for he makes life hard not only for others but also for himself” (3). All along, Vincent persisted in perfecting his art"

He was actually quite logical about his approach, and common among these logical types are emotional outbursts and fits of rage when they fail to meet their standards of perfection....which is a J thing.


If you don't think he was strongly inclined towards a logical demeanor, think about his approach to life. He wanted to make the world better so he wanted to become a priest <---this at the time is an example of a very extroverted thinking way of chosing a profession. Remember, at the time the clergy were looked at as superior to doctors. To be in the clergy in this period was to almost to fulfill every mother's dream...a good boy grows up to serve the will of god (extroverted thinking/social hierarchy decision making). Very logical, clear, cut and dry.

But he has tertiary FI - his internal subjective feeling/value state tortured him. He never lived up to his ideals (they were quite childish to be honest, unrealistic, crude, and that is why he needed to lean on so many people very time his logical executions failed to meet these childish unrealistic high level subjective goals - read biographies posted above (confirms this).
 
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Koto

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I'm respectfully bowing out, I'm not invested enough to try and explain why tertiary Fi doesn't imply what you think it might, or extensively study the life of Van Gogh in order to reach an unverified conclusion seeing as I don't know him personally and won't have the chance to.
 

MaxMad244

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I'm respectfully bowing out, I'm not invested enough to try and explain why tertiary Fi doesn't imply what you think it might, or extensively study the life of Van Gogh in order to reach an unverified conclusion seeing as I don't know him personally and won't have the chance to.
Well I have tertiary FI. The third function is often likened, by Carl Jung, and Luis von Franz, to a child. It is usually and undeveloped function that can be refined later in life, but for the most part can also be a huge source of consternation.

For instance we can see that Van Goh never really had a unified strong consistent value set. He dithered through life when it came to knowing what he wanted. He didn't really know. It may have been the trickster, tertiary shadow function.

Obviously FI can mean a lot of things. It all it really means in general is a subjective internal value system. We know that the functional stack relates more to energy dynamics and aptitude. He definitely wasn't an introverted feeling dom.
 

Koto

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Referring to INTJ as a tertiary Fi type is exactly the point I'm making. ISFP = Si dom, not Fi dom; I'm not typing him as the latter if you read my posts, and this conversation won't progress so long as you keep the mindset of the tertiary function having the same attitude as the dominant, something that runs counter to Jung for a number of reasons and has been discussed at length many times in this forum for years now.

Edit: Also, dichotomies > functions.
 

MaxMad244

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Referring to INTJ as a tertiary Fi type is exactly the point I'm making. ISFP = Si dom, not Fi dom; I'm not typing him as the latter if you read my posts, and this conversation won't progress so long as you keep the mindset of the tertiary function having the same attitude as the dominant, something that runs counter to Jung for a number of reasons and has been discussed at length many times in this forum for years now.
Oh okay...I see what you're saying. I misunderstood your argument.
 
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