Researcher’s Discovery Sheds Light on Van Gogh’s Infamous Ear Incident

Vincent van Gogh 'Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.' Vincent van Gogh 'Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.' Wikimedia Commons

While the story about Vincent van Gogh cutting off part of his ear is well known, the details surrounding the incident have remained murky. Until now, that is. Researcher Bernadette Murphy has discovered a letter from Van Gogh’s doctor, Felix Rey, that provides a detailed account of how the artist severed his entire ear and gave it to a maid. The discovery will be included in the Van Gogh Museum’s highly anticipated exhibition, On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh and His Illness, which opens Friday, July 15, in Amsterdam.

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