London: Artist Vincent van Gogh, who famously chopped off his left ear in 1888, likely cut off more of the appendage than was previously thought, according to a recently uncovered note revealed in a book published. A newly discovered letter has revealed that the painter cut off his whole left ear and gave it to a chambermaid, differing from established historical accounts of the incident. The letter from the troubled artist’s doctor, Dr Rey, showed a sketch of the mutilated ear and what happened to it.
Art historians had previously thought the post-impressionist only cut a portion or a lobe of his ear before handing the severed flesh to a prostitute in the brothel he was staying in Arles. The new book, Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story, authored by UK-born writer Bernadette Murphy, has published definitive evidence and has for the first time identified the woman to whom he presented the “grisly” package. According to existing theories, the post-impressionist artist cut off his ear with a blade on a cold December night in 1888 and sent the severed organ to a prostitute named Rachel. However, Murphy debunks the ‘Rachel Myth’ in the book.