This Day in History: Van Gogh cuts off his ear

Van Gogh mutilated his earlobe during a fit of dementia while staying in Arles, France. The Dutch painter was sharing a house at the time with fellow artist Paul Gauguin. Van Gogh allegedly lashed out at Gauguin with a knife before using it on himself. He is said to have given his earlobe to a prostitute who worked at a nearby brothel. Though he sold only one painting during his lifetime, Van Gogh’s work now auctions for prices in the tens of millions of euros.


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