Van Gogh enjoyed having Gauguin with him in Arles, and took him to all his favourite locations to paint, and they spent the days working together outside under the sun, just the paint and their ideas to contend with.

Gauguin and Van Gogh #2

Gauguin often urged Van Gogh to paint from the imagination instead, and there was a constant back and forth on this subject, with the artists trying both approaches, spending some days inside, others out in the open fields.

Letter of hope

In 2012 a letter jointly penned by Van Gogh and Gauguin was auctioned at Christies.

The letter written on cheap paper ripped from a school exercise book speaks of their hopes of founding a community of brother artists, of a new renaissance in art. They both, it seemed, were inspired by each others company and had great hopes for the future.

Van Gogh nervous about being left alone

As time passed and seasons changed, they were often forced to stay inside because of the weather. Slowly tensions began to mount, and the differences in their characters began to show themselves.

Any mention from Gauguin of leaving Arles would drive van Gogh into a fierce mood, as he was perpetually scared of being left alone. Eventually they had an almighty fight where van Gogh pulled out a razor and threatened Gauguin.

Later that night Van Gogh mutilated his ear and the next day Paul Gauguin was on a train to Paris.

A new twist on the story

It has been reported by two German art historians that it is quite possible that Gauguin himself sliced Van Gogh’s ear.

He was a keen fencer and it was believed he was expecting van Gogh to turn on him so he carried his fencing sword with him. In this theory of events both artists then covered it up so Gauguin would not be arrested.

The neighbours have their say

After the incident the terrified neighbours signed a petition that Van Gogh be taken to a mental asylum. Van Gogh and Gauguin were to never see each other again.

Many great works came out of the time together of Gauguin and Van Gogh, and van Gogh would create masterpieces from what he learned from Gauguin, most notably the skill of abstraction.

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    02-09-2016 01:02     Comments ( 0 )
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