A new book has been released about the yellow house and the time that two crazy masters spent together painting, fighting, and cutting ears off. Martin Gayford’s “The Yellow House” discusses the time that Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin spent 9 weeks together in Arles, France.
Sounds like it was a challenging time for Gauguin, with Vincent flipping out.
“I had to leave Arles, he was so bizarre I couldn’t take it. He even said to me, ‘Are you going to leave?’ And when I said ‘Yes’ he tore this sentence from a newspaper and put it in my hand: ‘The murderer took flight’.” Paul Gauguin
And of course it talks about the famous ear cutting incident..
“Vincent returned to the Yellow House, perhaps after he had completed the mission on which he was going out, according to Gauguin’s first account. Possibly he posted his letter to Theo, or he went and had a drink, or both. Later in the evening, around 10.30pm to 11pm, he took the razor with which he sometimes shaved his beard and cut off his own left ear – or perhaps just the lower part of it (accounts differ). In this process, his auricular artery was severed, which caused blood to spurt and spray.”
Read more about the book at the Telegraph.
So much of art history is exaggeration and mythologizing, but that’s how I like it. Great artists generally live boring lives as they’re either painting or thinking about painting. So if the occasional tall story wasn’t made up, no artist would ever get a biography published. See a larger version of the Yellow House painting.