Vincent Van Gogh's Ear Removal: Gauguin and Not Insanity?

Discussion in 'Urban Legends & Folklore' started by EnolaGaia, May 5, 2009.

  1. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainmen ... 033650.stm
     
  2. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

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    I read an article where it was indicated that they didn't really have much effort for this. But it might as well be true. You know what these artists are like.
     
  3. sherbetbizarre

    sherbetbizarre Special Branch

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    I'm halfway through this interesting doc, shown on BBc2 the other night...
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07nswft/the-mystery-of-van-goghs-ear
     
  4. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    Another Van Gogh related tale.

    Australian artist Matt Butterworth feared a long day when he dressed up as Vincent van Gogh, travelled to Melbourne's finest gallery, and posted a sign outside.

    "FREE. TAKE A SELFIE WITH VAN GOGH. (Look-alike)," it read.

    It was 10:00, and Butterworth could see few people at the National Gallery of Victoria, which is holding Australia's largest-ever exhibition of the Dutch painter's works.

    But after one person came forward, his offer "went crazy".

    "I had tiers of people lining up to take a selfie with me. I was getting hugs from random strangers," he said.

    Butterworth posed for 147 selfies in just over 90 minutes, at which time his phone battery went dead. Participants ranged from children to the elderly. ...

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-39971622?ocid=socialflow_twitter
     
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  5. MetroGnome

    MetroGnome Junior Acolyte

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    Hey, perhaps Gauguin shot Vincent too... :)

    I have not bothered much to go into the issue; I'm not sure it is all that important. But fact is, Van Gogh did suffer from episodes of madness during which he became prone to self harm, e.g. trying to eat his paints. And it was during one such episode that he shot himself. Thus it does not seem to me inherently incredible that he cut off part of his ear.

    It is of course true that he and Gauguin quarreled like frickin' children, and neither man was easy to get along with, thus their living together was something of a powder keg waiting for a spark. I guess we'll never know. But when I think of Van Gogh the first thing that comes to mind is his art, not his ear. :)
     
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  6. Swifty

    Swifty Beloved of Ra

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    I seem to remember being told at art college (or reading somewhere) that old Goffy cut off his ear to give to a prostitute as a token of love but was then rejected .. has anyone else heard that version of events?.
     
  7. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Yes - that was the popular explanation I consistently read / heard from my teen years onward. My understanding is that van Gogh indeed delivered his severed ear (actually just a portion of the ear) to a brothel afterward. I don't know whether the bit about it being given to a particular prostitute as a gesture (whatever ... ) is based on fact or represents a post hoc embellishment.
     
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  8. MetroGnome

    MetroGnome Junior Acolyte

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    as far as I know the whole ear thing is a bit confused, and it is not entirely clear whether he actually gave it to a prostitute, but if he did, it would once again indicate that he was as crazy as a bedbug, which would in turn mean we need no special explanation as to how his ear got severed in the first place. Perhaps Gauguin is not guilty, though I would not put it past him either. Neither of them was entirely stable. But boy, could they paint...
     
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