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Do You Hear What I Hear?

· Time Capsule

Silent night.

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Noel (Holy Night), Venetian Trio, 1916

Pssst, click me! πŸŽ„

For a little extra holiday joy, listen to the music above while reading this comic. A version of Noel by the Venetian Trio (sometimes called The Edison Venetian Trio), this group included Francis J. Lapitino, Howard Rattay, and Rosario Bourdon. This song was recorded over 100 years ago and cleaned up by Angel Lobotomy Records.

Silent Night πŸ‘‚πŸ»

Let's get one thing clear right from the jump: no one is sure exactly how much ear Vincent Van Gogh removed 135 years ago last week. Some claim it was just part of the lobe. Some swear the entire thing got lopped off.

But if you go by a drawing of the severed ear by FΓ©lix Rey, damn near his entire sound catcher was 86'd. And since Rey was Van Gogh's attending physician for the incident, I think that's what we'll go with.

And no one is quite sure why he did it – outside of a clear mental breakdown, that is. He might've had a fight with his frenemy and fellow painter Paul Gauguin. His brother Theo got engaged around that time, and since Big T was paying Ol' Vinny's bills for him, that might've set him off.

For a long time everyone thought Van Gogh gave the ear to a prostitute. Which, as funny as that sounds, wasn't true. Author of the book Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story Bernadette Murphy uncovered that Vincent gave the ear to a young woman he'd befriended. She worked at a local coffee shop and as a housekeeper at a brothel. And the story leading up to her getting a bloody ear in a box is bonkers.

She was a poor farmer's daughter. One day she was bit by a rabid dog, and was rushed to get a dose of the newly invented rabies vaccine (woo-hoo, Louis Pasteur!). She got better, but the debts from her treatment forced her to take odd jobs (πŸ₯).

Before your inner Sherlock Holmes gets too excited, just remember: this young woman didn't ask for the ear. She didn't want the ear. She was traumatized by the whole ear-xperience. She never wanted to be named and just wanted to live her life in peace. So even though historians discovered her identity back in 2016 using clues from Murphy's book, I won't be linking to it.

Because I ain't no snitch. 🀐

Still here?

If you're still here, why not check out the cartoon from 2018 that inspired today's full comic:

Guess professional researchers weren't the only ones who thought a woman of the night got Vinny boy's ear for Christmas πŸŽ„.

If you like behind the scenes tidbits, freebies and bonus cartoons like this, you'll love The History Shapes Club. Make your New Year's resolution to support an indie artist bringing the history funk week after week. πŸŽ†

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