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It is arguably the best-known story in the history of art: Vincent van Gogh lops off part of his ear in a moment of insanity and drops it off at a brothel.

The facts behind how the artist mutilated himself and what happened next can now be told for the first time, according to experts, after crucial medical evidence was discovered.A letter from Van Gogh’s doctor, Felix Rey, reveals that the painter did not remove just a section of his ear, after all, but severed it entirely.

The woman he delivered it to was not a prostitute – as previously thought – but a humble maid who had been injured by a dog bite and worked to pay off her medical bills.

To read the full story:

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