Certain relationships are charged with an intensity of feeling that incinerates the walls we habitually erect between platonic friendship, romantic attraction, and intellectual-creative infatuation. One of the most dramatic of those superfriendships unfolded between the artists Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848–May 8, 1903) and Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853–July 29, 1890), whose relationship was animated by an acuity of emotion so lacerating that it led to the famous and infamously mythologized incident in which Van Gogh cut off his own ear — an incident that marks the extreme end of what Sir Thomas Browne contemplated, two centuries earlier, as the divine heartbreak of romantic friendship. {read}