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Vincent van Gogh’s ear put to rights
  1. Philip D Welsby1,
  2. Dominic Bannister2
  1. 1 Retired, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Student, History of Art, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip D Welsby, Retired, Edinburgh EH12 8UB, UK; philipwelsby{at}

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We read with interest John Launer’s account of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, very appropriately under the ‘On reflection’ heading.1

Many readers will be familiar with his self-portrait showing heavily bandaged right ear. However, van Gogh had severed his left ear, presumably because he was right handed. Similarly in other self-portraits, he paints himself with his pallet in his right hand whereas he would have held it in his left hand. So we must deduce that he …

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  • Collaborators Dominic Bannister.

  • Contributors PDW and Dominic Bannister are sole authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.