The Theories of Vincent van Gogh’s Ear

Vincent van Gogh is a well known artist but part of the fame and legend of the man is because of the mystery surrounding the incident with his ear. It is widely believed that following an argument with fellow artist Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh returned home, and with a razor, cut off a portion of his left ear. He then took the piece of ear to a nearby brothel and gave it to a woman named Rachel to whom he said, “Guard this object carefully.” You can read more about the incident on our site, Van Gogh Gallery, here. Though many scholars believe the above explanation is as close to …..

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Van Gogh’s Relationship with Alcohol

Vincent van Gogh drank alcohol to excess; more specifically he drank the potent liquor absinthe, also known as “the green fairy,” which was believed to cause delirium and hallucinations. Absinthe was also believed to cause a drinker to see yellow hue around objects, which some say can be seen in paintings such as Starry Night. However, more recent research has shown that the amount of absinthe consumed would need to be quite substantial to reach this effect, so this was probably not the explanation for Van Gogh’s yellows. The drinking of absinthe was quite common amongst the artist crowd of Van Gogh’s time, so his consumption of the beverage was …..

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Vincent Van Gogh’s Friendship with Emile Bernard

Vincent van Gogh most likely met Emile Bernard in 1886 at Fernand Cormon’s studio where they both studied under the well known portrait painter, or perhaps they met a short time later at Père Tanguy’s shop.  Bernard was just 18 years old when he and Van Gogh, 15 years his senior, became friends yet Bernard had already developed his own artistic style. Bernard was dismissed from Cormon’s studio due to his artistic opinions.  He sought his own artistic direction as he walked away from Impressionism as well as the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat and Signac, though he did experiment with pointillism for a short period.  By 1887, Bernard had come to …..

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