Gun 'Van Gogh killed himself with' sells for 162000 euros

Fatal weapon The revolver Vincent Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself with was found in a field by a farmer in 1965 75 years after the painter's death

Fatal weapon The revolver Vincent Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself with was found in a field by a farmer in 1965 75 years after the painter's death

The sale of the gun, dubbed "the most famous weapon in the history of art", sparked controversy in the art history world and re-ignited the debate over Van Gogh's death.

TOPSHOT - A revolver believed to be the gun Dutch 19th century painter Vincent Van Gogh would have used to kill himself on 27 July 1890 is on public display at Paris' Drouot auction house on June 19, 2019 before it goes under the hammer later today.

A farmer found the weapon in 1965 in a field in the northern French village of Auvers-sur-Oise where Van Gogh spent the last few months of his life.

The gun exhibited alongside a seemingly identical model at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2016.

"Nothing suggests that the remains [of the gun] are formally linked with the death of Van Gogh", the institute said. The auction house points out that even if this theory is correct, though, the weapon up for bidding could still very well be "the gun".

When he arrived back at the inn several hours later, his hosts discovered the gunshot wound to his stomach and called his physician Dr. Paul Gachet.

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Experts say it will never be certain if this was the weapon Van Gogh used but that the bullet is of the same 7mm calibre as the one retrieved from his body. While most art historians agree Van Gogh killed himself, that assumption has been questioned in recent years, with some claiming the fatal shot may have been fired accidentally by two local boys playing with the weapon in the field.

Van Gogh suffered bouts of psychosis and deep depression throughout his life, with his torment often infusing his art, whether intensely painted self portraits or other notable works including The Starry Night and Sunflowers.

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"I have tried to kill myself", Van Gogh is reputed to have told Ravoux.

Art Auction acknowledged that the gun could also have been hidden or abandoned by the two boys.

The sale also comes as crowds are flocking to an immersive Van Gogh exhibition in Paris which allows "the audience to enter his landscapes" through projections on the gallery's walls, ceilings and floors.

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