Your Waterstones card is changing, introducing...
Van Gogh's Ear: The True Story (Paperback)
  • Van Gogh's Ear: The True Story (Paperback)

Van Gogh's Ear: The True Story (Paperback)

1 Review Sign in to write a review
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 08/06/2017
  • In stock online

Usually despatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
In December 1888, Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear. It is the most famous story about any artist in history. But what really happened on that dark winter night?

In Van Gogh's Ear, Bernadette Murphy reveals the truth. She takes us on an extraordinary journey from major museums to forgotten archives, vividly reconstructing Van Gogh's world. We meet police inspectors and cafe patrons, prostitutes and madams, his beloved brother Theo and fellow painter Paul Gauguin.

Why did Van Gogh commit such a brutal act? Who was the mysterious 'Rachel' to whom he presented his macabre gift? Did he really remove his entire ear?

Murphy answers these important questions with her groundbreaking discoveries, offering a stunning portrait of an artist edging towards madness in his pursuit of excellence. 

'This book has the pace of a detective novel. electric, nuanced portrait.' - Daily Mail

'The revelations are fascinating and add intriguing details to the great crisis of Van Gogh's life.' - The Times

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784702229
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 292 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm

"This book has the pace of a detective novel, sending fresh blood pulsing through an old tale as Murphy recreates the heartbreaking drama of Van Gogh's loosening grip on reality." * Daily Mail *
"Murphy's revelations are fascinating and add intriguing details to the great crisis of Van Gogh's life." -- Michael Prodger * The Times *
"Murphy's book rescues the real Van Gogh from the lazy cliches of tea towel memorabilia by painting an electric, nuanced portrait of a man who achieved artistic brilliance despite his mental health issues and not because of them. In doing so, she allows for a version of his history in which her subject's passion for life, art and humanity blooms like the sunflowers he painted." * Daily Mail *
"She knows Provence with an intimacy that's rare in the ear genre. Her descriptions of the people, their landscape, their customs are unusually detailed... Her second stand-out quality is a doggedness that goes beyond the usual art-historical drives. Relentlessly she wrestles with the book's central mystery." -- Waldemar Januszczak * Sunday Times *
"No one before has built up such a detailed picture of the people who surrounded the great artist." -- Martin Gayford * Daily Telegraph *

You may also be interested in...

Added to basket
Grayson Perry
Added to basket
The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
Added to basket
Wall and Piece
Added to basket
£14.99   £11.99
Art Oracles
Added to basket
Added to basket
My Life
Added to basket
Added to basket
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.49
Walk Through Walls
Added to basket
Lucky Day Notes
Added to basket
£10.99   £2.75
Notebook / blank book
Walk in the Park Desk Notes
Added to basket
£6.99   £3.50
Novelty book
Picasso 1932
Added to basket
Quentin Blake: Pen Ink & Places
Added to basket


View all


An excellent book. I even visited Van Gogh's town of Arles whilst on holiday in France as a result of reading this book. I can recommend this book and the amazing town of Arles. Both will amaze you.

Hardback edition
20th September 2016
Helpful? Upvote 35

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.