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Van Gogh Ear Story: Did Van Gogh Really Chopped Off His Ear? [The Truth!]

Van Gogh’s ear was cut off, that ain’t no mystery but a fact. The real mystery is who really cut off Van Gogh’s ear and why? Or did he cut off his ear by himself? What is the story behind Van Gogh’s ear? You’ll find out all the details here, in this article.

Why did Van Gogh cut off his ear?


Who really cut off Van Gogh’s ear?

What are 2 theories about what happened to van Gogh’s ear?

There are many theories about Van Gogh’s ear story. As a consequence of this, various individuals have developed unique hypotheses regarding the events that might have taken place. Others believe that the erratic artist Paul Gauguin is the one responsible for the self-inflicted injury, as opposed to the possibility that it was an epileptic seizure or a fit of insanity that led to the man accidentally cutting off part of his ear, as both of these explanations have been ruled out.

How old was Van Gogh when he cut off his ear?

drawing of van gogh who is drawing himself using his cut off ear as reference

It is said that Van Gogh cut off his ear on December 23, 1880. As he was born on March 30, 1853, he must have been 26 years old when he chopped off his ear.

Which ear did Van Gogh cut off?

If you go on the internet and type van Gogh’s ear story You’ll find that I lot wonder which ear he cut off. Let us tell you here that it was the left ear.

After a heated argument with Paul Gauguin, an artist in Arles with whom Vincent van Gogh had been collaborating for some time, van Gogh chopped off his left ear.  The symptoms of Van Gogh’s disease manifested themselves as follows: he started having hallucinations and experienced bouts in which he lost consciousness.



What happened to van Gogh’s ear after he cut it off?
After that, it is said that he wrapped the ear in a cloth and presented it to a prostitute working at a brothel in the area. After what transpired, Van Gogh was taken to a hospital in Arles, and then he voluntarily admitted himself to a mental institution at Saint-Remy, where he remained there for an entire year.

Why is van Gogh right ear bandaged?

painting of van gogh

In January of 1889, only one week after being discharged from the hospital, Van Gogh painted this masterpiece.

After he had severed the majority of his left ear, he had gone there to obtain treatment (shown here as the bandaged right ear because he painted himself in a mirror).

How much of his ear did van Gogh cut off?
After a number of unsuccessful searches, Kessler eventually located the note from the physician. It was folded in half and tucked away in a folder along with several clippings and other miscellaneous pieces. An obvious cut can be seen across the base of the ear in the illustration that the physician made; van Gogh had severed the ear entirely, leaving behind only a thin fragment of the lobe.

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