Vincent van Gogh shot dead by two boys

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Vincent van Gogh did not kill himself but was accidentally shot dead by two boys, claim two American art historians in a new biography.

According to the most commonly held view, the famed Dutch painter shot himself in the chest with a revolver after suffering yet another bout of depression and two days later died of his injuries.

Steven Naifeh en Gregory White Smith, who won a Pullitzer Prize for their biography of the American painter Jackson Pollock, say their conclusions are based on years of research and new evidence, including letters owned by Van Gogh’s heirs that have never been studied before.

A flaw in the traditional view, the authors argue, is that Van Gogh, after shooting himself, would have dragged himself over a kilometre of rugged terrain, when in fact he was so depressed he actually wished to be dead. Some six months previously, two days before Christmas, he cut off his ear, or its lobe, in a brothel he often visited. Their book, Van Gogh – The Life, is due to come out this Monday.

Van Gogh died in Auvers-sur-Oise, in northern France, on 29 July 1890 at the age of 37. He left some 900 oil paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches that are now recognised as some of the world’s most recognizable and expensive works of art. cl

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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