The moment when Vincent van Gogh looked into a mirror, held up a blade and cut into his own ear defines his turbulent life and art. But what did he really do on the night of December 23, 1888, in the town of Arles? What was his state of mind? No one has been clear on the details … until now. Bernadette Murphy, a researcher living in Provence, has spent five years piecing together a meticulous picture of his life in Arles, person by person, house by house. She has uncovered definitive evidence, never before published, and pieced together a detailed timeline of the events leading up to the night of the event, explaining the driving force behind the story that dominates art history.
Watch Van Gogh's Ear on Secrets of the Dead, tonight at 9pm on WGBH World.