This video is called Vincent van Gogh – The story.
From The Sunday Times in London:
December 27, 2009
Found: the clue to van Gogh’s ear
Richard Brooks, Arts Editor
The mystery behind the most famous mutilation in art history may finally have been solved.
Martin Bailey, who has written a book on van Gogh and curated two exhibitions of his work, devised his theory after meticulous detective work on a letter in a painting that the artist completed soon after he injured himself.
Bailey concludes that this letter was written by Theo from Paris in December 1888 and contained news of his engagement. This, he believes, tipped Vincent, who was already psychologically disturbed, into self-harm.
“Vincent was fearful that he might lose his brother’s emotional and financial support,” writes Bailey in the January edition of The Art Newspaper.
For years disputes have raged over what really happened to van Gogh’s ear just before Christmas 1888. Some have blamed his mental illness, others have said he was driven mad by lead in his paints. The breakdown of his friendship with Paul Gauguin, his fellow artist, has also been cited, although it is claimed that Gauguin made up this story himself.
Academics at Hamburg University argued recently that Gauguin, with whom van Gogh shared a house at Arles in the south of France, cut the ear in a quarrel over a prostitute called Rachel.
This theory was dismissed by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and by Bailey.
Van Gogh gave ample evidence of his mental instability when, 19 months after the ear was cut, he shot himself in the chest and died from his wounds two days later.
Bailey assembled his evidence partly from close study of van Gogh’s Still Life: Drawing Board with Onions. The work was completed at the beginning of 1889, just a month after his injury. It will be the star painting at a new exhibition opening in January at the Royal Academy around the theme of van Gogh and his letters.
It includes an envelope on a table. Bailey examined it microscopically and found the number 67 inside a circle. This was the official mark of a post office in Place des Abbesses, close to the apartment in Montmartre occupied by Theo, an art dealer who regularly provided money for Vincent.
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