There will be a broadcast sometime today which focusses on the how’s, why’s, and indeed wherefore’s of how Van Gogh lost his ear. Did he in fact cut it off himself, during a fit of melancholy whilst in the asylum? Was he attacked by another inmate? Was he, rather than having, or cutting his own ear off, suffering from some disease which necessitated the surgical removal of his ear?
Ideas differ, but I have discovered the immediate aftermath of this incident, which was when a male nurse picked up the discarded part of Van Gogh’s body, and theatrically asked “What’s this ‘ere?”