Germans come up with new ‘ear-incident’ theory

Two German historians come up with a totally new view on the Van Gogh ear incident. They claim that it was not Vincent, but his friend Gaugain who caused Van Gogh’s injury. Up until now, it was generally accepted that Vincent cut off part of his ear in a state of complete lunacy. All this took place after a row with Gaugain shortly before Christmas 1888.

German historians Kaufmann and Wildegans believe that it was Gaugain who injured Vincent while they were having a fight. After he had partly cut off Van Gogh’s ear with a sable, Gaugain came to his senses and agreed with Van Gogh that they both would not speak to anyone about the incident.

So, according to the German historians, Vincent made up the story we all still know and believe, just to protect his dearly beloved friend Gaugain. But how come we didn’t know about the supposed truth much earlier? That’s because the two historians based their stories on Gaugain’s accounts, the Germans claim.

About Gaugain’s story about the ear incident, they say: “It contains inconsistencies and there are plenty of hints by both artists that the truth is much more complex than the story we’ve all known”.

“We carefully re-examined witness accounts and letters written by both artists and we came to the conclusion that van Gogh was terribly upset over Gauguin’s plan to go back to Paris after the two men had spent an unhappy stay together at the ‘Yellow House’ in Arles, Southern France, which had been set up as a studio in the south”.

The whole story can be read in the book ‘Pakt des Schweigens’- ‘Pact of Silence in English’, written by Kaufmann and Wildegans.