La tristesse durera toujours

Auberge Ravoux

The Auberge Ravoux, Auvers-sur-Oise, in 1890

On this day in 1890, Vincent Van Gogh – at the age of 37 – walked into the wheat fields in Auvers-sur-Oise and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. Without realizing that he was fatally wounded, he returned to the Ravoux Inn (pictured above), where he died in his bed two days later. His brother Theo hastened to be at his side and reported his last words as “La tristesse durera toujours” (French for “[the] sadness will last forever”).  After Vincent’s death, Theo was not able to come to terms with the grief of his brother’s absence, and died six months later.

12 thoughts on “La tristesse durera toujours

  1. vanrijngo

    Yes, and on this very day of July 27th, 1890, it has all been said many times before. and written into many van Gogh books, what had happened. But,.. unfortunately,… the story has been evading the truths for too many years now. It is finally time to get on down to the real knitty-gritty, about what really did happen, and the real cause of Vincent shooting himself in a pile of you know what-tee,… and to put it in layman’s language, where everyone can understand and come to the rightful conclusion.

    Vincent did not shoot himself in the chest, or much less at the wheat fields where they say he did, for the bullet entered his belly, and being a small caliber, remained there. He then got up, out of the pile of farm animal dung, where he shot himself at, which happened to be in the coral of a farm, just as was stated by someone who knew the true and honest story.

    Madame Liberge had heard her father talk about Vincent’s dungicide in these terms: ” I don’t Know why people don’t tell the true story. It was not over there , by the cemetery, that poor fellow put a bullet in his chest. He left the Ravoux’ inn in the other direction of the hamlet of Chaponval. At the rue Boucher he entered a small farmyard. there he hid behind the dunghill. then he committed the act that led to his death later.”
    Madame Liberge added: ” These were my father’s very words. Why should he have wanted to invent such an absurd story and falsify history? Anyone who knew my father could tell you that he was always to be trusted, and for what he said.”

    Now, if this incident of him shooting himself were to have left him lying dead, the gun and Vincent would have been found exactly where this had occurred, and there would be no problem with it authenticity of this so-called story. As everyone knows, who reads about this incident, they know the firearm was never recovered. That is because when he didn’t die, Vincent stuffed the gun into that pile of dung just as far as his arm would let him. He never told them where or what happened to it, only that he could not remember what he had done with it. The gun was never retrieved,… for who in their right mind would want to dig around that pile of dung looking for it.

  2. John

    Nice speculation both of you.

    I believe that this is evidence that Theo succumbed to syphilis.

  3. jahsonic

    Vanrijngo, John,

    Thanks for your comments. I guess it’s always difficult to trace the “famous last words” of a dying person.


  4. vanrijngo

    That is correct Jan,… and when one becomes famous,… it’s a whole lot easier to misconstrue their words, for ones personal gain, after the already deceased person, who ever they may have been, that seems to enter into the populous minds, and the lime light.

    John, I believe both brothers would have eventually succumbed to syphilis,… but the truth is, Vincent died of internal bleeding of a self-inflicted gun shot wound, and Theo died of guilt,…. and a broken heart, believe me.


  5. jim

    How you can say with any kind of certainty that “Theo died of guilt and a broken heart” is beyond me. Especially since you seem so interested in knowing all of the facts at hand. The truth is, dying of a broken heart does happen, assuredly, but not often, and it’s never termed that by any doctor who cares about his profession.

    Complications may have arisen from the stress of his brother’s death to contribute to Theo’s own demise, of that we may be certain. But what we may NOT be certain of is that we are CERTAIN that this is the case. Clearly, it is a romantic notion, and no more so than the thought of poor Vincent shooting himself in the heart among the rows of golden corn.

    We must not let misty reverie for the men we never knew obstruct our vision and cloud our perception of the events as they must have unfolded. When great men are spoken of, the way in which we ordinarily might arrive at conclusions is thrown straight out the window. It does not honor the men, but serves only as a silly game for us, to legitimize and strengthen their legacies. As if they need it. No, it only serves the selfish mind.

    We worship myths, many of us.

  6. vanrijngo

    I’m back again for more punishment. Who so ever believing in what I say & write shall not laugh forever,… but die laughing. Hope that is funny to you all,…. for I just made it up.

    This could really become one heavy blog if people would just come on board for these wonderful enlightenment of happenings in the lives of the van Gogh Brothers and dig for the real truths.

  7. Bob

    No more digging for the heavy blog? Well we all know that the crow was Vincent’s sign of death, or at least some of us have heard that one time or another in this life time of ours. Let us assume Gauguin was well aware of this when he did the etching of a man with a crow. WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK ABOUT THIS STATEMENT,… and I’m not yelling at you.

  8. Bob Miller

    Jim, I just read your last comment again and it meant so much more to me this time in reading it. You are 100% right that a persons rights, should not be played with and misconstrued by certain so-called unintelligible interested people who’ misty reverie think that they know what really happened in this great mans life who is spoken of.

    I was almost in tears until I read the part where you said “he shot himself in the heart among those rows of golden corn”,… and then I suppose amusingly getting up and staggering back to where he was staying while forgetting what had happened to the firearm which he had used. Then immediately myself thinking of the fact that he had laid their in bed for two days while smoking his pipe with his brother with the same bullet in him.

    The doctors evidently refusing to, or not thinking the bullet needed to be removed kinda dried up my little tears. I then remembered to where I read in a book where it said Vincent might have been felt to be a threat by one of the doctors, even to his family, just before this incident of Vincent shooting himself occurred. From what I see and read there seem to be a whole lot of certainty going on with not much evidence of proof.

    You see my little avatar I use? Well,… just imagine when people having a hard time hearing with their own ears, a gentleman handing them one of his own for them to hear with.

  9. Bob Miller

    A little bit off the subject of VvG, but still interesting if you like mysteries. The fact that this blogger from another site says he has a hard time believing my story, he says it was still fascinated nevertheless (in spite of the horrendous spelling):

    Read more:

    “Dennis Melvin Howe. If you don’t remember the name, do a little Google research. It’s such a sad case. It makes zero sense that this scumbag has never been aprehended. Even back in the late 1980’s, Walsh would say, “Dennis Howe would be so-and-so years old, if he is even still alive today”. “That always struck me as odd, considering the case was originally aired in the 80’s, making Howe less than 50 at that time.”

    You might say this isn’t far from the topic of the little talk were having here about another unsolved crime against justice. The endings are pretty much the same, just speculations and supposed bad judgement on the part of the ones who happened to have been in charge at that time.

    The actual similarities of these stories is the fact that both stories were involve in getting rubbish off the streets and people digging to get at the truths.


  10. Bob Miller

    I could be writing these words for the art experts, but the truth is most of them will not read these writings. They are also the ones who should really be reading this. I’d guess not one reading these words if connected to the art world in a elite sort of way would want to act like they don’t understand what is being said. Most really think I’m writing all this just to amuse myself. I wonder if these words will ever be heard or understood down the road if this world of our last that long. That is before I die, dead and gone, and before all is said and done.

    Vincent’s “Starry Starry Night” tells us the true story as it happened. How the moon wains, the pots clatters, and the gravy stain, how shit and bullets fly and how the unfortunate just happen to die young. Why would it matter, for I’ve written this many times before, most readers reading what’s said and shown them refuse to see, remain as non believers or admit it could possibly be true..

    What more can one say while trying to make sense of it, especially when it is pretty much all spelled out for ones to read for themselves. As I bring these writing of mine and of Vincent’s turmoil to a close, one tries to be careful of possible kids dressed as cowpokes & gunslingers. They just may have real gun in their possession ready to shoot. They are said to be waiting, wanting a shootout, just like the one at the OK corral in a continent or two away.

    If the enactment of a shootout at OK coral was just for fun, one must think about checking for live bullets before shooting of these guns. For sure you don’t want to get yourself shot for real. like these new United States authors from the east coast, by way of North Carolina while writing their new book on their studies of what they feel really happened to Vincent causing his death. If you happen to get shot by a stray bullet and live. We must not forget to hide the gun so not to catch the blame of this shootout. To make sure no one.else gets their ass in a jam, Vincent must have shove the gun he had down into the dung pile as far as his long arm would let him. Then keep your silence, while hoping to be saved by a doctor.

    Always remember to apologize for your transgressions made against them especially if it happens to be one of the doctors that you expect to save you, and even for your own verbal threat made of you taking your own life if they save you, Irresponsible as some doctors may have been, and as delirious as Vincent might have been, these two doctors talked it over and decided, he will more than likely will do it again if operated on while saving him.

    What was done was patching him up by stopping the outside bleeding, just as it had been written. He succumbed to internal bleeding two and a half days after this shooting. Most doctors would admit this wasn’t a major operation that had to be done to stop the internal bleeding. Now you art experts should know pretty much the rest of the true story, one that make more sense than playing cowboys at the OK coral.

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