Vincent Van Gogh - how little we really know

We know all of his wonderful paintings, but how much we know about the man himself? It's fascinating how little we really know, and since he died in 1890 some things will always be the object of speculation.

The first point of interest is that it is not known with certainty if Vincent was a right or left hand artist. In all the correspondence between him and his closest friend Gauguin this is never mentioned. Primary school of Dutch researchers confirmed that he was handed over to the right. It is strange because in one of his most famous self portraits it is clearly demonstrated with the palette with his left hand, but if we accept, he painted the portrait with the help of a mirror and then it would have been holding the palette with his right hand, so he would have held the brushes and paint with his left hand.

Many people, however, say that as an artist, that it could easily have reverse the hand holding the palette to give a clear idea of what hand, he has used to paint as an artist myself I would always be myself as delivered left because that is what I am actually. A point more complexity. Although there were many left handed artists, Michaelangelo and Leonardo to name but two. At the time of the life of Van Gogh, left chirality was associated with the devil. Being left handed over has been strongly discouraged. Is French for "scrum" left and awkward French is "maladriot" or literally wrong in law. Paint with hand left is something to be practised as discreetly as possible.

The second point of discussion is his famous, partially severed ear. The standard of the line of thought is that it cuts off part of his ear and he then presented to a prostitute, he fell in love. A more modern theory, explains that, actually, Gauguin cut off the coast of the ear of Van Gogh to an argument that had to at the outset. It is possible that they shared a love for the same woman. He is known, however, that Gauguin was an expert with a sword and was a burly man who was not afraid of her exercise. It is also recorded that the brother of Van Gogh, Theo, wrote: "it is as well as Gauguin was not armed with a more modern weapon." Was Theo referring to this argument and just be grateful that Vincent had escaped from his life. The pair in decided to conceal the truth. Gauguin continued to write to Van Gogh in passionate, rights terms until his unfortunate death. If they then submitted this is never mentioned in letters of Gauguin.

Yet again, this remains probably an unsolved mystery. Strange how that we know so paintings and yet little is known about the man.

Mark Robb is an artist practicing Haworth. If you enjoyed the above article then he invites you to browse the website where you will find all kinds of equipment-art, art prints and other tips and tricks to help you become a better artist

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