Last updated: 20 october, 2009 - 09:49 GMT

Letters shed new light on Van Gogh

One of Vincent van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo (Van Gogh Museum; Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Many of Vincent van Gogh's letters were written to his brother Theo

The artist Vincent van Gogh's reputation was one of instability to the point of madness - a tormented genius who cut off his own ear.

Now there is a definitive new edition of his letters which may make people reconsider that image.

The BBC's Vincent Dowd begins his report where Van Gogh died in July 1890, in the small town of Auvers, just outside Paris.

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First broadcast 19 October 2009

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