GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe

January 1889, Arles
Oil on canvas, 52 x 46 cm
Private collection

Catalogue numbers: F 529, JH 1658.

On the night before Christmas Eve in 1888, van Gogh mutilated himself with a knife, he cut off his earlobe, wrapped in a handkerchief, and, in his injured state, went to the brothel to give the lobe to a prostitute. Once he returned home he lost consciousness through loss of blood. And thus he was found by the police, who had been alerted by the recipient of the bizarre gift.