|Pages/Publication Date:||336 / 2016|
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux.|
The best-known and most sensational event in Vincent van Gogh's life is also the least understood, suggests Bernadette Murphy, who attempts here to settle just why the artist cut off part of his ear. Her detective work takes her from the holdings of major museums to the moldering contents of forgotten archives across Europe and the United States. Illustrated with 16 pages of color reproductions, the book sheds new light on Van Gogh's brother and benefactor Theo, fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and many of the sitters for his paintings, some of whom Murphy identifies for the first time—notably, the woman named Rachel, to whom Van Gogh presented a macabre gift.