Van Gogh Code: Sacred Body Language

"Give every man thine ear but few thy voice." Hamlet: 1.3

The 'Van Gogh Code' is an aesthetic interpretation that contends Vincent Van Gogh did not sever his ear in a state of acute mental illness, as is commonly believed, so much as he created an evocative work of sacrificial body art out of a lucid intention to impart an intelligible artistic statement:

Namely, "Please hear what I am not saying."

More specifically, Van Gogh's deeply held Christian spiritual beliefs and close personal identification with the story of Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane — together with the following related points of reference — show that an aesthetic interpretation of his physical wound as a desperate, last ditch effort to artistically communicate a spiritual message fits the known facts better than any other theory that proposes to explain why Vincent Van Gogh lost an ear.


“With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to these people; yet even then they will not listen to me" 1 Corinthians 14:21

"right ear" :

"left ear" :

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them listen.” Mark 4:9


Spiritual significance of Van Gogh's Gethsemane-inspired olive garden paintings:

Gethsemane references in Van Gogh letters:

Body Art: Insanity as Communication

The Sacrificial Aesthetic: Blood Rituals from Art to Murder

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