23 December, 2009
Today, in 1888, our favorite tortured artist, Vincent van Gogh, lost the integrity of his left ear. Holiday pressures will take their toll, but sheesh.
Now, historical critics are disputing the self-mutilation narrative, and blaming Gauguin for the ear removal. I think the original theory is simpler, and makes more sense of his strange gifting of the ear to the lady around the corner in Arles. He did it, and he gifted it. He "owned" it, so to speak. Later self-violence, where he committed suicide, also makes the original ear story more believable.
The reason the right ear appears bandaged in the van Gogh self-portraits is that he looked in the mirror to reference them.