Van Gogh’s Ear

A new study suggests that Vincent Van Gogh may have fabricated the famous story of self-mutilation surrounding his severed ear, which he wrapped in a cloth and presented to a prostitute, in order to protect the artist Paul Gauguin, who’d lopped it off with a sword during an argument in front of a brothel. From Telegraph: 

German art historians say the true version of events never surfaced as
the two men both kept a “pact of silence” – Gauguin to avoid
prosecution and Van Gogh in a vain attempt to keep a friend with whom
he was hopelessly infatuated. … Other Van Gogh experts, including those at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, disagree with the authors’ claims. However, Nina Zimmer, the
curator of a major Van Gogh exhibition in Basel, was less sure:
“Perhaps they’re right, but all the hypotheses are valid given the lack
of material,” she told Le Figaro.

In short, anything is possible. Read the whole sordid tale here. And see the ABC news coverage here.

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One thought on “Van Gogh’s Ear

  1. Jared

    Hmm, thats an interesting story. I’m not sure about Van Gogh, but I don’t know that I would make up a story of cutting off my own ear to protect somebody who ‘accidentally’ lopped off my ear with a sword!