Van Gogh’s Suicide Pistol Gun sold for whopping $180000

van gogh suicide gun
van gogh suicide gun

Van Gogh’s Suicide Gun

The Gun that most probably took away the life of Vincent Van Gogh has been sold for thrice the price expected by the auctioneers. The Van Gogh’s Suicide Gun was auctioned in Paris on 19 Jun 19. The buyer identity is private. 

The Gun auctioned is a Belgian make and known as Lefaucheux revolver. The pistol was very popular as a small hunting gun in Europe in 19th Century. The Gun was previously put on public display in an exhibition in Amsterdam in 2016.


Van Gogh was hit by a bullet on 27 July 1890. Which resulted in his death after two days.  As the  Lefaucheux revolver has limited firepower the bullet was unable to reach his heart and was stuck in ribs. This incident occurred in the wheat fields of Auvers-sur-Oise.   The gun was not found till 1960’s. A French farmer found the gun while ploughing the fields. He gave it to the owner of the cafe nearby where Van Gogh was staying during end of his life. 


Auctioneers are not 100% certain that this was same gun but they say that the there are evidences which makes it almost clear like:

  1. The gun was in the ground for around 60 to 70 years. This has been proved scientifically.
  2. The caliber of the gun is matched with the bullet which the doctor found inside Van Gogh’s Chest.
  3. The Gun was found in the same field where Van Gogh Shot himself.


Criticism On Auction of Van Gogh’s Suicide Gun

Although the Auction Art has touted the Gun as “the most famous weapon in the history of art”, The Van Gogh Institute has criticized the event.  They called it  “commercialization of a tragedy” happened with great artist which deserves far more respect rather than earning a fortune from it.

Van Gogh suicide revolver
Severally corroded revolver

Suicide or Killing

Although most of the art specialists believe that the artist committed suicide, a 2011 biography on Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, claims he was shot by a local villager. This event from their biography has been accepted by Filmmaker Julian Schnabel who shot the van Gogh’s biographical film, At Eternity’s Gate.  According to the film

While Van Gogh was painting one day in the courtyard of a deserted estate, two teenager boys came there with their hunting gear including hunting guns. They begin playing around mischievously to distract Vincent. During the horsing around disrupting Vincent’s painting a spurious shot goes off. This resulted in Vincent being hit by a bullet. After this unfortunate incident the boys beg him not to tell anyone about their mischief. The boys then throw their guns into a local river while Vincent goes the other way back to his inn around a mile away. He died there telling a different story of attempting a suicide.

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