Details taken from: Frida Kahlo’s ‘Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’ (1940), Ford Madox Brown’s ‘The Irish Girl’ (1860), Pablo Picasso’s sketch of Francoise Gilot (approx. 1946), Paul Cezanne’s ‘Le paysan’/‘Peasant’ (1891), Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (1665), Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait (1889), Henri Matisse’s ‘Self-Portrait in a Striped Shirt’ (1906), Laura Knight’s sketch of Elizabeth II (1950), Francis Bacon’s Self-Portrait (1969), Lucian Freud’s ‘Head of a Girl’ (1976), Fayum Mommy Portrait (1st-3rd C.), Elizabeth Catlett’s Untitled Portrait (approx.1947).
In this above panel (and in the panel before it), Vincent isn’t wearing any earrings.
This was a new panel that was added into Volume 24, Retrace 104. In this panel he is talking about how he is being selfish (because they [himself and Ada] cannot walk the same path of time together, so he wants her to find happiness with someone else). It then transitions into the scene where he checks in on Ada to make sure she has found someone who will make her happy. We aren’t given a close up of Vincent’s ears in that final scene with Ada, but it doesn’t appear as if he is wearing any earrings then either. We know from the There is artbook, that Vincent got new green earrings that “evoked the green color of Ada’s eyes,” so I am of the belief that he got those earrings right after that final scene with Ada.
I know many VinceAda fans were kinda just like, “Who cares if you and Ada can’t walk the same path of time together!” And I understand where this is coming from: just enjoy, love, and cherish the moments that you do have together…but for Vincent, Ada’s proclamation of “I’ll always be by your side,” was the first time her words caused him to feel something for her (on their date together in An Ordinary Date, seeing Ada smiling and reading to the kids -specifically two boys who remind him of himself and Gil- caused Vincent to have a slow-mo, blush, stare, and be emotionally affected by her for the first time moment, that was the first time he was moved by her physical actions, though, not her words).
Ada’s proclamation that she will always be by his side is one that is very important to Vincent.
After Ada tells Vincent that she forgives him, those words are the last ones that we see him thinking about. After that, we never get inside Vincent’s head again. Ada’s forgiveness saved Vincent, but her words of always being by his side seemed to have stuck with him.
But, because Vincent is a Baskerville, Ada would never be able to fulfill this promise, so he decides to be “selfish.” Though, I don’t find his actions to be as completely selfish as Vincent himself may view them to be. His decision to not allow Ada any say in the matter is selfish, but his reasons, in and of themselves, are not. What Ada said to Vincent, about always being by his side, those words were not only important to Vincent, but to Ada as well. Her not being able to fulfill that promise would have likely hurt her just as much as it would have Vincent. But, by having Gil tell Ada that he was dead, Ada would be able to move on quicker, knowing that she had always been by Vincent’s side. Also, by claiming that he was dead, it allowed her to move on/forward quicker and easier and to find someone who could love her in the way that he, Vincent, never really could. It also allowed her to find happiness and for her to find someone who could always be by her side and someone who she could always be by their side.
As we know, she eventually does find this someone and once Vincent sees that she is okay, he leaves. I believe that after that is when he bought his green colored earrings. After all, Vincent had no need anymore to really check in on her and make sure she was doing okay/had found happiness. I could see him maybe checking everything out on rare occasions and/or events. After all, we know that Vincent spent many of his years working for Leo and spending time with Leo and the other Baskervilles, as well as the Core of the Abyss.
The next time we see Vincent in the manga, it is after 100 years have passed, by this point in time he has those green earrings. I think Vincent bought those earrings to not only remind him of Ada, but to make sure that she kept her promise. Even if she wasn’t physically there with him anymore, those earrings reminded him of her. He likely worn them everyday, no matter where he was, even when he traveled around the world for four years. Through all that, and up to the moment he died, he likely wore those earrings and therefore ensured that Ada would always be by his side.
I just…I have a lot of feelings about those earrings and Vincent and..getting that bit of information from the artbook just makes Vincent and Ada’s situation post-series feel complete to me now. I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over those earrings. They are such small things and the the gesture itself is really small as well, but I think Vincent’s actions tend to speak more truthfully than his words so this one small act really says a lot about his feelings for Ada in the end.