Van Gogh Museum showcases pistol used in artist's suicide

Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum is showcasing the pistol the artist is believed to have used to end his life.

It's one of the centrepieces of a show called On the Verge of Insanity, which focuses on the last 18 months of his life.

Van Gogh revolver
Van Gogh was just 37 when he died

On July 27, 1890 Van Gogh left his lodgings at the Auberge Ravoux inn and went to a local field to paint.

No one is sure what exactly transpired there, but what is known is that Van Gogh staggered through the door of the inn at around 9pm covered in his own blood.

He claimed to have shot himself in the chest, passed out and then woken up a few hours later. The gun was nowhere to be found.

Another theory, advanced in a 2011 biography, suggests that he may have been shot accidentally by one of a group of local boys he had been drinking with.

The gun was found in the field where Van Gogh had been painting.

It's heavily rusted, having been buried underground for many years.

While experts can't say with any certainty that it's definitely the one, the museum states: "There is a strong possibility that it is the same weapon that he used to take his own life."

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