Van Gogh in France


It’s easy to see how many artists especially in the 19th and early 20th century would be inspired by Provence.  The luminous quality of the light and brilliance of the colors can be seen in Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, Bonnard, Signac, Dufy, Matisse, and of course Picasso.  But probably the most significant for this area was Vincent van Gogh.

Van Gogh lived in Arles for 15 months from 1888-89 and during that time painted 300 works though none of them remain in Arles (though the Foundation Van Gogh is having a show here of 31 paintings on loan from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Kroller Muhler Museum in the Netherlands).  His works from this time have lots of yellow, ultramarine, and mauve. His subject matter was primarily landscape and reflects his Dutch heritage.

Painted in 1888, now in the collection of the Kroller Muller Museum, Otterloo.
Painted in 1888, now in the collection of the Kroller Muller Museum, Otterloo.
The cafe today.
The cafe today.
Also painted in 1888, this painting is also in the collection of the Kroller Muller Museum.
Also painted in 1888, this painting is also in the collection of the Kroller Muller Museum.
We are here during lavender season and the fields (this one in the distance are everywhere). You can see the flatness of the perspective in van Gogh's work.
We are here during lavender season and the fields (this one in the distance are everywhere). You can see the flatness of the perspective in van Gogh’s work.
During the day the lavender fields are full of bees and the lavender is planted for them to make lavender honey. At dusk you can walk along the rows and take in the scent.
During the day the lavender fields are full of bees and the lavender is planted for them to make lavender honey. At dusk you can walk along the rows and take in the scent.
While this was painted in Paris there is no doubt that van Gogh would have seen the fields of sunflowers around Arles. This one was painted in 1888 before he came to Arles.
While this was painted in Paris there is no doubt that van Gogh would have seen the fields of sunflowers around Arles. This one was painted in 1888 before he came to Arles.
Coming and going to Arles fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see.
Coming and going to Arles fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see.
At the Foundation van Gogh they often have shows of artists influenced by him and this was an interesting take on his subject matter and techniques. This one titled "I do not Feel Embarrassed at Attempting to Express Sadness and Loneliness," 2001, oil on panel.
At the Foundation van Gogh they often have shows of artists influenced by him and this was an interesting take on his subject matter and techniques. This one titled “I do not Feel Embarrassed at Attempting to Express Sadness and Loneliness,” 2001, oil on panel.
In this detail you can see van Gogh's influence especially the way he blurs the edges.
In this detail you can see van Gogh’s influence especially the way he blurs the edges.
Glenn Brown, "Song to the Siren"
Glenn Brown, “Song to the Siren”
 "After Jordaens", 2013, ink on two sheets of polypropylene
“After Jordaens”, 2013, ink on two sheets of polypropylene
Glenn Brown "Suffer Well", 2007, oil on panel
Glenn Brown “Suffer Well”, 2007, oil on panel
Van Gogh, "Skull with Burning Cigarette", 1885
Van Gogh, Skull with Burning Cigarette”, 1885
In May 1889 after he mutilated his ear he checked himself into the Cloister and Clinic of St. Paul de Mausole in St. Remy de Provence.
In May 1889 after he mutilated his ear he checked himself into the Cloister and Clinic of St. Paul de Mausole in St. Remy de Provence.
As you can see it's a beautiful peaceful place and van Gogh felt very safe there. The monastery is from the 12th century.
As you can see it’s a beautiful peaceful place and van Gogh felt very safe there. The monastery is from the 12th century.
The monastery and cloisters are from the 12th century.
The monastery and cloisters are from the 12th century.
van Gogh, "Hospital in St. Remy", 1889
van Gogh, “Hospital in St. Remy”, 1889
The man himself holding a bunch of sunflowers.
The man himself holding a bunch of sunflowers.
The fields outside his window painted at least 15 times.
The fields outside his window painted at least 15 times.
van Gogh, "Meadow in the Garden of St. Paul", 1890
van Gogh, “Meadow in the Garden of St. Paul”, 1890

Trees on the grounds of the hospital

"Trees in the Garden of St. Paul's Hospital", 1890
“Trees in the Garden of St. Paul’s Hospital”, 1890

 

2 thoughts on “Van Gogh in France

  1. Mina,

    Whenever you travel and send your Poetry Without Words, I feel as if I’m on the trip with you. Thank you for the photos, narrative and personal comments.

    Keep traveling, taking photos, and especially writing!

    xo, Claire

    Claire Ellis csellis@mcn.org

    >

  2. As usual, following your posts with much interest. Your photos of luberon have raised the prospect of a return visit for Sharon and I Also, the framing and composition of the photos is first rate. Thanks, Bill

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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