Towards the end of July 1890, suffering from depression, Vincent van Gogh attempted suicide by shooting himself in the chest. There were no witnesses and the gun was never found.
He committed the act either in the wheat field he had been painting or in a barn.
Holding his stomach, he was able to arrive at the inn in Auvers where he was staying, and two doctors medicated him, but the bullet could not be removed because no surgeon was available.
He died two days later, from an infection in the wound, with Theo at his side.
Later, Theo spoke about his brother’s feelings just before his death: “He himself wanted to die. When I sat at his bedside and said that we would try to get him better and that we hoped that he would then be spared this kind of despair, he said, “La tristesse durera toujours” (The sadness will last forever). I understood what he wanted to say with those words.”
Recent findings have suggested that he may not have killed himself, because he considered suicide sinful and immoral, but he may have been shot by accident by two teenagers who were hunting. He did not want them to get in trouble, so he told everyone that he had shot himself. He seemed to welcome death and believe the boys had done him a favour. His widely quoted deathbed remark was: “Do not accuse anyone… it is I who wanted to kill myself.”