On July 23, 1890, Vincent wrote his brother a strange letter claiming that he'd "rather write. ..about a lot of things, but the desire to do so has completely left," and cryptically warning that "the painters themselves are fighting more and more with their backs to the wall" (L 651). This final letter to Theo is enigmatic, but it seems to indicate the total mental and physical collapse of a man who had essentially destroyed himself in order to exercise his creative genius to its exhausting, devastating capacity. On July 27, 1890, Vincent wandered behind a haystack in one of the wheat fields through which he strolled daily and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He was able to stagger back to the inn where he was staying, repeatedly falling and forcing himself to his feet again, and he lay down in the bed in his attic room without telling anyone about his injury.
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