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2009/05/07

超人のジャーナリスト・アイ 106 ゴッホの耳はゴーギャンが切断とドイツの美術史家らが新説発表

スウェーデンのDN紙の電子版を覗いていたら、こんな衝撃的な記事が出ていた。下記はその全文。

ゴッホの耳はゴーギャンが切断とドイツの美術史家らが著書で新説を発表

Vännen Gaugin skar av van Goghs öraPublicerat 2009-05-05 15:21

Foto: AP Photo/Christie's 3105003131_2

Det var vännen och kollegan Paul Gaugin som stympade Vincent van Goghs öra, inte van Gogh själv. Åtminstone om man får tro de två tyska konsthistorikerna Hans Kaufmann och Rita Wildegans som i sin bok "Van Goghs öra" försöker skriva om historien.

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De två författarna har gått tillbaka till polisprotokoll och nedtecknade vittnesmål om vad som hände på julafton i Arles 1888. De två vännerna festade och grälade om en prostituerad, Rachel, samt om konstens natur.

Gaugin var inte bara konstnär utan också en duktig amatörfäktare. Till slut hamnade de ute på gatan. Enligt boken försökte Gaugin, med bagage och svärd intill sig, hålla van Gogh i från sig när han av misstag skar av hans öra.

Van Gogh tog på sig skulden för att skydda sin vän, enligt författarna, som medger att de inte har vattentäta bevis. De två konstnärerna återsåg aldrig varandra. Gaugin reste till Tahiti. Van Gogh hamnade på mentalsjukhus. Året därpå sköt han sig
(2009年5月5日付のスウェーデンの有力紙ダーゲンス・ニーヘーテル紙電子版より)

■Van Gogh's ear 'was cut off by friend Gauguin with a sword'
 from The Telegraph.com on the 5th of May

Van Gogh's ear 'was cut off by friend Gauguin with a sword'
He is known as the tortured genius who cut off his own ear as he struggled with mental illness after the breakdown of his friendship with a fellow artist.

By Henry Samuel in Paris
Last Updated: 10:43AM BST 05 May 2009

Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889 by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) Photo: Samuel Courtauld Trust, Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery But a new study claims Vincent Van Gogh may have made up the story to protect painter Paul Gauguin who actually lopped it off with a sword during an argument.

German art historians say the true version of events never surfaced as the two men both kept a "pact of silence" – Gauguin to avoid prosecution and Van Gogh in a vain attempt to keep a friend with whom he was hopelessly infatuated.


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Archer's very own Van GoghIn Van Gogh's Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence, Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans claim it was the sword attack, not Van Gogh's madness, that led him to commit suicide two years later.

The prevailing theory is that the Dutchman, who painted Sunflowers and the Potato Eaters, almost bled to death after slashing his own ear with a razor in a fit of lunacy on the night of December 23, 1888.

He is said to have wrapped it in cloth and handed it to a prostitute in a nearby brothel.

However, the new work from experts in Hamburg offers a very different version.

Gauguin, an excellent fencer, was planning to leave Van Gogh's "Yellow House" in Arles, southwestern France, after an unhappy stay.

He had walked out of the house with his baggage and his trusty épée in hand, but was followed by the troubled Van Gogh, who had earlier thrown a glass at him.

As the pair approached a bordello, their row intensified, and Gauguin cut off Van Gogh's left earlobe with his sword – either in anger or self-defence.

He then threw the weapon in the Rhône. Van Gogh delivered the ear to the prostitute and staggered home, where police discovered him the following day, the new account claims.

Gauguin had undoubtedly been staying with Van Gogh, but most experts think he had disappeared before the ear incident.

Although the historians provide no "smoking gun" to back up their claims, they argue theirs is the most logical interpretation, and explains why in his final recorded words to Gauguin, Van Gogh writes: "You are quiet, I will be, too".

They cite correspondence between Vincent and his brother, Theo, in which the painter hints at what happened without directly breaking the "pact of silence" made with his estranged friend.

He mentions Gauguin's request to recover his fencing mask and gloves from Arles, but not the épée.

Mr Kaufmann told the Daily Telegraph: "He writes that it's lucky Gauguin doesn't have a machine gun or other firearms, that he's stronger than him and that his 'passions' are stronger."

He makes reference to a French novel in which the narrator thinks he has killed his friend by cutting the climbing rope linking them.

"Afterwards, he says to himself: 'nobody has seen me commit my crime, and nothing can prevent me from inventing a story which would hide the truth'," said Mr Kaufmann. "This was a message to his brother."

He also pointed to one of Van Gogh's sketches of an ear, with the word "ictus" – the Latin term used in fencing to mean a hit. The authors believe that curious zigzags above the ear represent Gauguin's Zoro-like sword-stroke.

The historians also contend that, while Van Gogh clearly suffered from seizures, he had not gone mad at this stage.

"That was propaganda and all part of Gauguin's self-defence strategy," said Mr Kaufmann. "But it was a shock from which Vincent never recovered, led to the aggravation of his disease and paved the way to his suicide," he said.

Other Van Gogh experts, including those at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, disagree with the authors' claims. However, Nina Zimmer, the curator of a major Van Gogh exhibition in Basel, was less sure: "Perhaps they're right, but all the hypotheses are valid given the lack of material," she told Le Figaro.

■上の記事のキーワード「SWORD」関連でこんな記事もネットから。

Katana2_thumbnail1_jpgf6abf383dd964

Poem for the Day

WANTED: JAPANESE SWORD
It's one of those lighted signs
you tow behind a truck. For years,
the man down the street has kept it in his yard––
as if a retired samurai might wander by
on his way to Lund's Hardware
or the Whippi Dip. Tonight, I sit out
in the moonlight. The neighbor is drunk,
his stereo loud, You done me wrong,
sung in a man's voice. The music
seems familair, but it's not.

Moonlight has a strange effect.
In 1856, under a full moon,
James Jesse Strang,
the self-styled Mormon prophet,
ran a sword through his chief rival
on Beaver Island, declared himself King
of Michigan, and began a bloody rebellion
that didn't end until a frigate was sent
to put it down. And did you know
the Japanese saber combines
a European hilt with a Japanese blade?
It's forty inches long and weighs three pounds.
Of course, my neighbor may want
a katana, long-sword of the samurai.
"The human heart is unknowable," the poet
Tsurayuki wrote, "but in my birthplace,
the flowers smell the same as always."
The wind moves through the roses
that tangle in the fence, rose that are
a delicate pink in any light.

Did you ever want a different life?
When I did, I went into the fish business
and sold salmon roe to the Japanese.
Ikura, it was called, tiny eggs
that gushed from the razored salmon
like translucent orange moons.
I was going to be rich.
You lost your ass! my father laughed,
meaning I would never be the King of Michigan.

The music stops. My neighbor
comes into his yard and starts
banging a stick against the ground.
He begins a drunken dance, a dark figure
backed by a glowing sign––whirling,
jumping on one leg––he falls, rises, and
falls again, twirling the stick around
his head, groaning and shouting out.
Finally, he stumbles and does not rise, his body
lost in the cedared dark.
What does it mean to want so badly
you dance in the glow of your own desire?
Sending a stick hissing through the sky,
pounding the earth until you disappear,
amazing no one but yourself?

-Greg Rappleye

from sonnets at 4 a.m


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