17 Oct 2011

The Murder of Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh died from a gun wound, two days after it was inflicted, on 27th July 1890.  He had returned to his lodgings in Auvers-Sur-Oise. 

van gogh skull

The artist was 37 when he died. If Vincent Van Gogh had died when his works were selling for millions of dollars the inquest into his death would have been thorough, but he didn’t and it wasn’t.

van gogh skull

With the new Van Gogh Exhibition now underway at London’s Royal Academy, which displays the so called “suicide note”, it seems a good time to re-examine the evidence and ask: did Vincent Van Gogh commit suicide or was he murdered?

van gogh skull

Many accounts of Vincent Van Gogh’s death cite the letter found on his person after the shooting incident as his “suicide note”. This “suicide note” conclusion should be suspected.

van gogh skull

Firstly, unusually for a suicide note, the letter was unfinished and made no mention of an intended suicide or reasons for taking his life. Secondly, this document is actually an unfinished letter to the artist’s brother Theo. It reads: My dear brother,

Thanks for your kind letter and for the 50 francs note in contained.

There are many things I should like to write to you about, but I feel it useless. I hope you have found those worthy gentlemen favorably disposed toward you.

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