Sunday, October 23, 2011

60 Minutes on Vincent van Gogh

A couple of bloggers have posted about a 60 Minutes segment on Vincent van Gogh, and others have commented to tell me about it! (THANKS!) One of my students even cutely tried to tell me about it: "Mrs. B, I saw on TV that Vincent van Gogh DIDN'T cut his own ear off!!!" That's definitively NOT what the segment says, but I appreciate the attempt on my student's part to recall what he had seen. The segment sheds some doubt on whether Vincent actually shot himself.

I spent much of the summer reading a compilation of Vincent's letters to Theo, and from his obvious extreme mental instability and severe depression, I had never doubted the suicide. I don't think this new evidence makes much difference though; whatever really happened that day, van Gogh died, and I doubt he would have lived much longer anyhow, given the extremes of his mental illness and likely temporal lobe epilepsy.

Anyhow, if you haven't seen it yet, check it out here, and make sure you also watch Part 2 and the Virtual Tour. It's well done and there are images that you may have never seen before, information you may have never heard.

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