Vincent Van Gogh died at age 37 on 29 July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. What happened 2 days before we will never know exactly. Was it suicide? Was it murder? According to letters from Dr Gachet, his brother Theo and his friend Emile Bernard it was Vincent who shot himself.

What did Dr. Gachet say?

Dr. Gachet wrote to Theo on 27 July 1890:

"Today, Sunday, at nine o'clock in the evening I was sent for by your brother Vincent, who wanted to see me at once. I went there and found him very ill. He has wounded himself . . . it is your duty to come."

What did his brother Theo say?

Theo wrote to his wife Jo three days later after he had spoken to Vincent before he died:

“One of his last words was: this is how I wanted to go and it took a few moments and then it was over and he found the peace he hadn’t been able to find on earth.”

What did his friend Emile Bernard say?

Emile Bernard attended Vincent’s funeral and spoke to Dr Gachet. On 31 July 1890 he wrote to Albert Aurier:

"Dr. Gachet told him that he still hoped to save his life, he said, "Then I'll have to do it over again.”


“He killed himself. On Sunday evening he went into the countryside around Auvers, placed his easel against a haystack and went behind the château and fired a revolver shot at himself.” Vincent had “done it in complete lucidity”, with a “wish to die”

Did Van Gogh commit suicide or was it murder?

If it was murder instead of suicide, why would Dr Gachet or Theo not write about this? Why would Vincent not have told them about his murderer before he died?

Or was it murder after all?

In 'Van Gogh: The Life', a 960-page book published in 2011, the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors claim that Van Gogh had been shot, possibly accidentally, by a couple of boys and that the artist had decided to protect them by accepting the blame.
Did Vincent van Gogh kill himself? Our hand-painted reproduction of Wheat Field with Crows, one of Van Gogh's last paintings.

Did Vincent van Gogh commit suicide? Our hand-painted reproduction of Wheat Field under Thunderclouds, one of Van Gogh's last paintings.

R.I.P. Vincent van Gogh

Vincent wrote to Theo from Arles two years earlier in July 1888:

"Painters being dead and buried, speak to a following generation or to several following generations through their works. In the life of the painter, death may perhaps not be the most difficult thing."  

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      17-05-2020 15:00     Comments ( 3 )
Comments (3)
 Rev.Gary Lee -  14-10-2022

people who commit suicide want it be accomplished quickly he knew he was fatally wounded so he gave way to it, having been ousted by the Church He did evangelize on his own. I don't see that he killed himself at all. He may have felt like dying as a way of escape the misunderstandings and ridicule he received, for many that are gifted by God to this Day are misunderstood for their differences!

 Wilma C. Guzman -  06-10-2021

Van Gogh Reflections – Wilma Guzman What made Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear? Could it have been voices in his head he didn't want to hear? Or the taunts of the young boys, who accompanied with throwing stones? Or the derisive voices of the villagers who little respected his focus on his artistic talents. Some questions remain? Did he really end his life on his own? When he showed hope in recovery? Still wrote his brother daily, communicating by letters, a steady friendship with postmaster, who instructed his son long after to find his closest relative to deliver his one last letter. An argument with the local bar owner, who commented cruelly, you are a financial burden on your brother, Theo, depriving his family of a more comfortable life, or the recent cold shoulder given by his love interest, could have been the instigation. One Doctor suggested, the angle of the gunshot in the stomach was not self-inflicted, was he protecting a local boy from being tried for the murder? Yet his paintings done stroke by stroke, brought beauty out of everyday life, gave inspirations for some artists to use his methods, many grew to appreciate his views on life to be valued for its originality day by day. ____________________ In examining Vincent's paintings, sketches in all their variety, women were often the subject, never on a pedestal, admired only for their beauty, he displayed their various realities of the roles and tasks they did, showing all they contributed to life in families and communities. They were weavers, reapers of wheat, sewers, cooks, laundry, nursing mothers, others mourning. Others now questioning, was his ear cut off by his own doing? as it was done while in a fight with artist, Paul Gauduin, well-known to have fencing skills. Vincent always self-effacing, not wanting to suffer those who interacted with him, unwilling to be a burden to his brother, his roommate, the teenage boys in town. Could the derision of the townspeople, be related to his Epilepsy? At that time – dealt with suspicion, fear of this unknown behavior that suddenly took him in fits. Questions to ponder, rather than certainties decided on, his story unknown in it's entirety.

 Iraakaufman -  18-05-2020

It has been obvious perhaps only to myself that Vincent never cut his own ear, but Gauguin in their fight did that. Then of course Vincent would never get his friend in trouble. So here one wonders if in truth it was those boys after all.