It was a toss up as to whether I was going to write about the accident last Friday morning when I stopped to help a six month pregnant woman driver who had been slammed into by an oncoming too-fast-a-driver or about the Carnival party I went to on Sunday. It turns out that it's going to be neither because I read my friend Jacqui's Creative Journey post where she touched on Van Gogh's ear (or lack of!) and the possibility that because Cezanne had abandoned him, he sliced it off.
I have heard another theory regarding Van Gogh's (I suppose it depends on where ones comes from as to whether one says Van Go or Van Goff!) ear.
There is a belief that the lopping off of the ear had nothing to do with Cezanne or the fact that the artist did it to himself so that he wouldn't hear his critics!
According to German researchers, Van Gogh did not chop off his own ear. It was, they say, Paul Gauguin who committed the dastardly deed.
Outside a brothel no less! The two were known to fight about art. Van Gogh believed in painting what he saw whereas Gauguin believed one should paint from memory. On this occasion states Hans Kauffman of Hamburg University, the two friends were arguing over a prostitute named Rachel. To get rid of Van Gogh, Gauguin waved his weapon in the direction of his friend and next thing - whoops - no left ear. No one knows if it was deliberate or an accident but Gauguin abandoned his friend who retired to bed. Both were questioned. Van Gogh said nothing and the story of self-mutilation is based entirely on Gauguin's version of the events.
'Subsequent behaviour and numerous allusions by the protagonists suggest they were hiding the truth,' Mr Kaufmann told French newspaper Le Figaro.
Apparently, Gauguin so full of remorse, threw his sword into the River Rhone. Neither the sword nor the razor supposedly used by Van Gogh were ever found. Had the truth come out Gauguin would have gone to prison and Van Gogh would have set up the artists' retreat he was planning.
The thinking is that because Gauguin abandoned him, Van Gogh shot himself seven months later, dying at the age of thirty seven. A possibility exists that he may have been suffering from lead poisoning from the paints he used. Whatever the story, in all likelihood, those who own a Van Gogh probably cannot afford to insure it!