What You Don’t Know About Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is not a guy you’d normally associate with giggles, but his “Head of a skeleton with a burning cigarette” is an exception. He painted the skull realistically and without irony as an anatomy study. Then he added the ciggie for a laugh. (Not, we presume, to depict the perils of smoking. Although that would be good, too.)

Because we’re die-hard fans of the macabre, this little painting from the collection at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam holds a special place in our hearts. David Sedaris, another fan of the macabre, must agree. “Head of a skeleton…” is the cover art for his 2009 essay collection When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

And because we are fans of the bizarre, we’ll add that, despite what one theorist would have you believe, Vincent van Gogh was not Jack the Ripper. (Seriously, dude, what have you been smoking?)

Artwork courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.


  1. Dale Larner

    I would like to state confidently and emphatically that Vincent van Gogh was Jack the Ripper. It’s not just a theory. It’s the truth based on discovery, facts, and evidence, which are presented in my book VINCENT ALIAS JACK. Since it’s not yet released, please see some of the matches and discoveries at [url=http://VincentAliasJack.com]VincentAliasJack.com[/url].

    I don’t smoke, not ciggies, or the other kind, so my lungs and eyes are clear, and so is my mind. This is not a fly-by-night claim. It’s backed by years of research. It’s difficult to accept, but it’s serious, and it’s true. Van Gogh was not as he seems.

    Thanks for providing the link, Crime HQ, even if you disagree with the premise.

    Dale Larner

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