Van Gogh's Ear

Van Gogh's Ear

The True Story

Book - 2016
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On a dark night in Provence in December 1888 Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear. It is an act that has come to define him. Yet for more than a century biographers and historians seeking definitive facts about what happened that night have been left with more questions than answers. In Van Gogh's Ear Bernadette Murphy sets out to discover exactly what happened that night in Arles. Why would an artist at the height of his powers commit such a brutal act? Who was the mysterious 'Rachel' to whom he presented his macabre gift? Was it just his lobe, or did Van Gogh really cut off his entire ear? Her investigation takes us from major museums to the dusty contents of forgotten archives, vividly reconstructing the world in which Van Gogh moved - the madams and prostitutes, café patrons and police inspectors, his beloved brother Theo and his fellow artist and house-guest Paul Gauguin. With exclusive revelations and new research about the ear and about 'Rachel', Bernadette Murphy proposes a bold new hypothesis about what was occurring in Van Gogh's heart and mind as he made a mysterious delivery to her doorstep that fateful night. Van Gogh's Ear is a compelling detective story and a journey of discovery. It is also a portrait of a painter creating his most iconic and revolutionary work, pushing himself ever closer to greatness even as he edged towards madness - and one fateful sweep of the blade that would resonate through the ages.
Publisher: Toronto :, Random House Canada,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9780345816054
Characteristics: xiv, 319 pages :,colour illustrations ;,22 cm


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VaughanPLLily Jan 31, 2018

I love Van Gogh's paintings, not only because they are vibrant and beautifully strange but also because they are so full of life. He worked so fervently even during the darkest days of his life. This book shed lights on many aspects of Van Gogh's life with archival evidence and detailed analysis. After reading it, I can never look at him and his painting the same way again.

Feb 03, 2017

This is a fascinating, well written and gripping account of a determined woman's investigation in to the final years of Van Gogh's life culminating in his suicide, and particularly what was the truth about his self-mutilation. Ms Murphy embarks upon a personal investigation to find out the truth about the artist's missing ear and how much of it he actually cut off. She makes surprising discoveries and contributes significantly to the facts about about Van Gogh's life as opposed to the myth that surrounds it. Highly recommended.

abit Sep 08, 2016

Fascinating read for those who want to know more about Van Gogh and his time in Arles. I couldn't put this book down and finished it in a few days. Ms. Murphy recounts her painstaking research in detail and it has the feel of a mystery revealed in bits and pieces.

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