New Theory Says Van Gogh Offed Ear Was An Attack, Not Self Harm

May 5, 2009

Germany (ChattahBox) – Two German authors have come forward with evidence that might prove Van Gogh’s well publicized act of self mutilation may have actually been an attack from his friend, painter Paul Gauguin.

Most of us know about the turbulent friendship the two men shared, and the many fights that were reported during the time they lived together in France. The ‘Yellow House’ was a well known hot spot for arguments, and as Van Gogh’s disease progressed, they are thought to have turned violent more then once.

But was Vincent’s most legendary act of cutting off his ear to give it to a woman really an act of eccentric mutilation, or was the the consequence of the last fight between he and Gauguin, before the French artist’s departure from the Yellow House.

German authors and art experts Rita Wildegans and Hans Kaufmann say that there is plenty of evidence in witness reports, police reports, and letters from both men that suggest the ear was cut off during a violent argument, although such a discovery would create more confusion as to Van Gogh’s decision to give the ear to the prostitute, Rachel.

Most art authorities disagree with this new theory, but the two are adamant. The full story can be read in Kaufmann and Wildegans’ book, In Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence.


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