Van Gogh in Arles with the National Gallery

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Join the National Gallery to discover why Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear and why he committed such a brutal act.

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Van Gogh in Arles

Thursday 28th January at 11.00am to 12.30pm . This event takes place on Zoom.

In December 1888, Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear. Why did Van Gogh commit such a brutal act? Who was the mysterious 'Rachel' to whom he presented his macabre gift? What really happened on that dark winter night?

Join Bernadette Murphy, author of Van Gogh's Ear, to learn about the thrilling results of her painstaking detective work, uncovering previously unknown circumstances behind this infamous incident in the painter's life. Hear too, about her latest project, vividly reconstructing Van Gogh's life in Arles and his relationships with his sitters.

A Q&A will be chaired by the National Gallery's Dr. Christina Bradstreet.

Christina writes "Bernadette is one my favourite writers and speakers ever to give a talk at the National Gallery. When she speaks about Van Gogh and his life in Arles, and shows us her archival findings, the places shown in his paintings, and the characters within them, seem to pop up, vividly, before our very eyes. I admire Bernadette. Its gutsy for an independent researcher, without a prior record in this field, to tackle an artist like Van Gogh - the subject of so much existing research within the art establishment. Yet, after a seven-year journey trawling through forgotten archives, her book is both gripping and groundbreaking. This talk promises to be a real treat for U3A members.

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Bernadette Murphy was born and brought up in the UK, though she has lived in the south of France for most of her adult life. A series of chance events led her to start investigating the life of Van Gogh in Arles, but little did she know at the time quite what an exciting adventure it would turn out to be. Van Gogh’s Ear is her first book.

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