Gauguin the Ear Slayer?

7 05 2009

The Guardian (UK) reported:

Vincent van Gogh’s fame may owe as much to a legendary act of self-harm, as it does to his self-portraits. But, 119 years after his death, the tortured post-Impressionist’s bloody ear is at the centre of a new controversy, after two historians suggested that the painter did not hack off his own lobe but was attacked by his friend, the French artist Paul Gauguin. FULL STORY HERE.

But Bloomberg says:

I don’t believe a word of it. This is not the first time it has been suggested that Gauguin might have been the aggressor in this odd art couple. The psychological motive for the suspicion is, I suspect, that many people don’t like Gauguin, and identify with the suffering Van Gogh. That’s the reverse of the effect the two men had in reality. Quite a few contemporaries liked and admired Gauguin; almost everybody, including his brother Theo when they lived together, found Van Gogh’s company unbearable. FULL STORY HERE.