Conspiracy theory about a painter? Yes, you heard it right. Now I feel like conspiracy theories have touched every aspect of life. People love questioning each and everything they come across. Now who is Vincent Van Gogh and what are they questioning about him?
Who was Vincent Van Gogh?
Vincent Van Gogh was the man who was an inspiration for Don McLean’s song ‘Starry Night’, apart from inspiring artists to write songs, he was a painter who is well known for his paintings ‘Starry night’ and ‘Irises’. He is also considered to be one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. But this wasn’t the only thing that made him known to the world. His death was an event which didn’t seem to have one side to it.
Majority of the people (including wikipedia) believe that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the stomach which he even admitted on his deathbed that he did kill himself in the wheat field where he had recently been painting. The reason this was widely accepted by the people was because of his deteriorating mental health which was supposedly not kept under the rocks.
Well, the painter killing himself was just one of the many possibilities of this event. Those people who don’t believe what they see like Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith looked further into this matter and claimed that he had been shot, possibly accidentally, by a 16-year-old schoolboy. According to them he was accidentally killed by a couple of boys and he decided to protect them by accepting the blame. (which was very kind of him to do) But this is not exactly what this article is about, because whether Vincent Van Gogh killed himself or somebody else killed him is a highly discussed topic that almost every fan of his knows.
Let’s get straight to the point then. Did Vincent Van Gogh trade his life with a Scottish Doppelgänger? Haha, yes, that’s actually a theory that someone came up with. The scarier part is that you’ll actually accept the theory or wonder once, twice or more about it after you’re done reading it.
So here it goes: Alexander Reid was a Scottish art dealer who looked exactly like Vincent Van Gogh. They looked so much alike that even the portraits of Reid painted by Van Gogh were mistaken to be his self portrait for years.
What makes this theory solid is not only the strong resemblance but also the fact that the two men were close friends and equally depressed, so there’s a possible chance that they could’ve swapped lives with each other to go on with their individual lives. (I mean I would do that if I had a doppelganger who lives a completely different life than me.)
One more conceivable reason that the two could’ve swapped lives or profession is that, Van Gogh came from a family of dealers, so before committing to art he was an employee at the renowned Goupil & Cie gallery in Paris from 1875 to 1876. And for his part, Reid was painter before he began selling the work of others.
Hence, there’s a possibility that the two took up each other’s lives, carrying each other’s professions. That means Vincent Van Gogh was in Scotland selling paintings and the paintings which were officially painted by Vincent Van Gogh like ‘Starry night’ and ‘The wheat field’ were actually painted by Alexander Reid.
So Don Mclean was wrong about his song Starry Night all along the way?