Vincent van Gogh did not kill himself, the authors of new biography Van Gogh: The Life have claimed.
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith say that, contrary to popular belief, it was more likely he was shot accidentally by two boys he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”.
The authors came to their conclusion after 10 years of study with more than 20 translators and researchers.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam called the claim “dramatic” and “intriguing”. In a statement, however, curator Leo Jansen said “plenty of questions remain unanswered” and that it would be “premature to rule out suicide”.
He added that the new claims would “generate a great deal of discussion”.
Van Gogh died in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, in 1890 aged 37.
The Dutch master had been staying at the Auberge Ravoux inn from where he would walk to local wheat fields to paint.
It has long been thought that he shot himself in a wheat field before returning to the inn where he later died.