Lefaucheux revolver ‘Van Gogh killed himself with’ up for auction

The seven-millimeter Lefaucheux revolver, which experts believe Vincent van Gogh used to shoot himself, is expected to fetch up to $67,000. (AFP)
Updated 17 June 2019

Lefaucheux revolver ‘Van Gogh killed himself with’ up for auction

  • Van Gogh experts believe that he shot himself with the gun near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris
  • The seven-millimeter Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch up to $67,000

PARIS: The revolver with which Vincent van Gogh is believed to have shot himself is to go under the hammer Wednesday at a Paris auction house.
Billed as “the most famous weapon in the history of art,” the seven mm Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch up to $67,000 (€60,000).
Van Gogh experts believe that he shot himself with the revolver near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris, where he spent the last few months of his life in 1890.
Discovered by a farmer in 1965 in the same field where the troubled Dutch painter is thought to have fatally wounded himself, the gun has already been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
While Art Auction, who are selling the gun, say there is no way of being absolutely certain that it is the fatal weapon, tests showed it had been in the ground for 75 years, which would fit.
The Dutch artist had borrowed the gun from the owner of the inn in the village where he was staying.
He died 36 hours later after staggering wounded back to the auberge in the dark.
It was not his first dramatic act of self-harm. Two years earlier in 1888, he cut off his ear before offering it to a woman in a brothel in Arles in the south of France.
While most art historians agree that Van Gogh killed himself, that assumption has been questioned in recent years, with some researchers claiming that the fatal shot may have been fired accidentally by two local boys playing with the weapon in the field.
That theory won fresh support from a new biopic of the artist starring Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate.”
Its director, the renowned American painter Julian Schnabel, said that Van Gogh had painted 75 canvasses in his 80 days at Auvers-sur-Oise and was unlikely to be suicidal.
The legendary French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere — who co-wrote the script with Schnabel — insisted that there “is absolutely no proof he killed himself.
“Do I believe that Van Gogh killed himself? Absolutely not!” he declared when the film was premiered at the Venice film festival last September.
He said Van Gogh painted some of his best work in his final days, including his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet,” the local doctor who later tried to save his life.
It set a world record when it sold for $82.5 million in 1990.
The bullet Dr. Gachet extracted from Van Gogh’s chest was the same caliber as the one used by the Lefaucheux revolver.
“Van Gogh was working constantly. Every day he made a new work. He was not at all sad,” Carriere argued.
In the film the gun goes off after the two young boys, who were brothers, got into a struggle with the bohemian stranger.
Auction Art said that the farmer who found the gun in 1965 gave it to the owners of the inn at Auvers-sur-Oise, whose family are now selling it.
“Technical tests on the weapon have shown the weapon was used and indicate that it stayed in the ground for a period that would coincide with 1890,” it said.
“All these clues give credence to the theory that this is the weapon used in the suicide.”
That did not exclude, the auction house added, that the gun could also have been hidden or abandoned by the two young brothers in the field.
The auction comes as crowds are flocking to an immersive Van Gogh exhibition in the French capital which allows “the audience to enter his landscapes” through projections on the gallery’s walls, ceilings and floors.
“Van Gogh, Starry Night” runs at the Atelier des Lumieres in the east of the city until December.


Celebrities, influencers call for justice over black man’s death in US

Part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik said: ‘Their (the police) job is not to kill. It has to change.’ (AFP)
Updated 28 May 2020

Celebrities, influencers call for justice over black man’s death in US

DUBAI: Celebrities and influencers around the world have taken to social media to protest against the actions of four US police officers that allegedly led to the death of a black male suspect.

A video, circulated online, showed an unidentified officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and ignoring his pleas of “please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man.”

Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota where the incident took place, later said that Floyd matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case and had resisted arrest. All four officers have been fired.

Part-Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid shared a picture of Floyd on Instagram and said: “This has got to stop. It’s hard to watch a video so foul. It’s hard to think that this is still happening, but it is reality.

“These police officers need to be accountable to the maximum degree for their obviously disgusting and horrific actions. I feel so sick, sad, and sorry for George Floyd and his family.”

Her sister, Gigi Hadid, also spoke up about the viral video on her Instagram account. “This is why it is more disheartening and nauseating every time. And not just black men – every senseless act of discrimination that burdens this country,” she wrote to her 54.2 million followers.

Part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik said: “We should all feel protected and know we can be safe. Their (the police) job is not to kill. It has to change.”

Below are more reactions from famous stars addressing Floyd’s death.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#JusticeForFloyd

A post shared by Naomi Campbell (@naomi) on