Exhibit brings Van Gogh masterpieces back to Arles
Exhibit brings Van Gogh masterpieces back to Arles

There have been many stories as to why this Dutch painter cut off the lower part of his left ear. Vincent van Gogh was a genius, but he was also said to be very depressed.

Starting off his career by working in art gallery and then as a preacher, Van Gogh 's life was nowhere as beautiful as his paintings. As for him cutting off his left ear, it was debated that it was either his depression or his fight with artist Paul Gauguin that led him to this.

However, art historian Martin Bailey, has now come up with another explanation. According to a new research, experts say that Van Gogh took this drastic step because he found out that his brother Theo had gotten engaged. December 23, 1888 was the day that Theo got engaged and that was also the day that the artist chopped off his ear. It's stated that Van Gogh was scared that he would be left alone and penniless if his brother got married. And this prompted him to self-mutilate.

Bailey, who has come out with a new book, reinforces this theory in it. He was quoted as stating, "The engagement may not have been the fundamental cause, but it sparked off this destructive act."

The Van Gogh gallery website states, "Near the end of 1888, an incident led Gauguin to ultimately leave Arles. Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his own ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment."

Some facts about Vincent Van Gogh:

Most famous paintings: Starry Night, Sunflowers, Irises, Poppies, The Bedroom, The Mulberry Tree, Blossoming Almond Tree and The Potato Eaters

Renowned quote: "We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words."

Van Gogh Museum: The museum is located at the Museumplein in Amsterdam, Netherlands.