But a new study
claims Vincent Van Gogh may have made up the story to protect painter
Paul Gauguin who actually lopped it off with a sword during an argument.
historians say the true version of events never surfaced as the
two men both kept a "pact of silence" – Gauguin to
avoid prosecution and Van Gogh in a vain attempt to keep a friend
with whom he was hopelessly infatuated.
In Van Gogh’s
Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, Hans Kaufmann and Rita
Wildegans claim it was the sword attack, not Van Gogh’s madness,
that led him to commit suicide two years later.
theory is that the Dutchman, who painted Sunflowers and the Potato
Eaters, almost bled to death after slashing his own ear with a razor
in a fit of lunacy on the night of December 23, 1888.