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Van Gogh’s Ear 1x55

Vincent van Gogh, an unknown and unsuccessful painter during his lifetime, is today among the most celebrated artists of all time. In 1888, the artist spent a year of his life in the city of Arles, France where he created some of his most treasured masterpieces. But it was also the year that he took a blade to his own ear before giving it to a young girl outside a nearby brothel. He was found the following morning with his head wrapped in blood-soaked rags. This event has become one of the most famous legends in the history of art, but nobody has been able to agree upon what actually happened.

Van Gogh’s Ear follows a remarkable investigation by Bernadette Murphy, an art historian living in Provence, who is determined to find the truth. Through meticulous research, Bernadette builds up an amazing network of local contacts and detailed information about Arles in 1888. Having sifted through all the evidence, Murphy’s search takes her from France to California, where a tiny document written by Dr. Felix Rey—who cared for van Gogh following the incident—has been hiding for over half a century. Dr. Rey had drawn a diagram of the ear before and after, confirming a brutal severance of the entire ear. Experts agree that Murphy has made an important discovery that finally proves that van Gogh cut off the majority of his left ear, leaving behind just the lobe.

Van Gogh’s Ear is part of the Secrets of the Dead series.