Well, today’s the day! 122 years ago, in Arles, Gauguin and Van Gogh fell out, and Van Gogh mutilated himself. . This has to be one of the most famous incidents in art history. I’d always assumed the details were well established…after a drunken disagreement, Van Gogh threatens Gauguin, who flees, after which Van Gogh severs part of his own ear and gives it to a prostitute called Rachel. The following day Gauguin is arrested, but released without charge. He then returns to Paris…and the two men never set eyes on each other again. So far, so well understood. But last year, two German historians - after pouring over the police records, testimonies, letters etc - made the claim that it was more likely to have been Gauguin who attacked Van Gogh… Well, he was (apparently) a gifted swordsman…after which G and V agreed to keep what actually happened between themselves…Does this seem credible? Whatever happened (and I think most people are agreed that Van Gogh injured himself), it will always strike me as a desparately sad story - a tragic end to a relationship that seemed pretty much doomed from the start, given the characters of the men involved! I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship over the last few days, knowing that this anniversary was coming up and (on a personal level) having recently fallen out with someone myself (not quite so spectacularly), which is sad…but sometimes unavoidable. But then again, maybe we should just be grateful for the incredible works of art that came out of G and V’s brief but dynamic collaboration? What do you think?? Btw - Happy Christmas and New Year!