It happens so often in this life, that a real talent is discovered to the world only after the death of its physical incarnation. Charles Strickland was no exception. His indigenous manner could have easily made him a successful person, but the Fate chose another way for him.
Is it possible to become a real artist at the age of 30 or 40 years – why not? Strickland is a good example, and if we study the history of world art more carefully, I’m sure we can find some other examples.
If an artist paints woods blue or the sky red, it doesn’t mean that he is insane – probably it’s true in some way, but one should just admit the artist’s right to draw things the way he wants it and sees the outer world. At that time conventional views on art were dominating, that’s why any novelty was not welcomed, and Strickland tried to embody what he had in his soul. Of course it depends on the man – whether he likes such a kind of painting, but we should accept the common viewpoint, that Strickland was a genius.
Talent is a gift of God, of Nature and very often it outweighs the personal traits of a man, this makes geniuses intolerable, wicked, cunning, suspicious, depraved, immoral in private life but immortal in the memory of people. But it’s no general rule, though it’s difficult to say whether there’s a regularity in this regard, i.e. are all geniuses (or their majority) wicked or not.
Strickland is “excessive”: his soul can not “house” both kindness and talent, the latter comprises everything and nothing in rather an antagonistic way. Even at the end of his life, being in an awful position he does not deny his life-style – it shows his strong massive character.
So the question of coexistence of personality and talent is open and I don’t think that a definite final answer can be ever found.