Vincent Van Gogh in St. Remy, France

At St. Paul de Mausole near St. Remy, France, you can see exactly what Vincent Van Gogh saw and painted.
At St. Paul de Mausole near St. Remy, France, you can see exactly what Vincent Van Gogh saw and painted.

The gnarled olive trees, irises, lavender, and bright sunshine…Entering the Monastery of St. Paul de Mausole  in St. Remy de Provence in southern France you have a feeling that you’ve seen this place before.  That’s because you have.

Van Gogh's room is reproduced at the asylum in St. Remy, France, where he lives and painted over 100 paintings.
Van Gogh’s room is reproduced at the asylum in St. Remy, France, where he lived for a year and painted over 100 paintings.

This is the “maison de sante,” not far from Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh went to rest and recover his mental health in 1889, not long after the famous incident when he cut off his ear.  He stayed here roughly one year and during that time he painted anything and everything in his surroundings–143 oil paintings and more than 100 drawings including two of his most famous masterpieces, Irises and The Starry Night. The fabulous thing about visiting St. Paul de Mausole is that photos of the paintings and and information about them appear where they were painted.  So for example, a photo of “Les Oliviers,” which is now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, is posted right in front of those olive trees.  You feel a little chill when you see exactly what he saw and how he interpreted it.

The imposed regimen of asylum life gave Van Gogh a bit of stability: “I feel happier here with my work than I could be outside. By staying here a good long time, I shall have learned regular habits and in the long run the result will be more order in my life.”

You’ll enjoy your trip more if you read up about Vincent.  Irving Stone’s fiction classic Unknown-3Lust for Life provides a general knowledge of his story.  But scholars continually interpret both his art and the health problems that may have been at the source of his mental illness.  Most recently, Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith offers a very readable portrait of Van Gogh and puts forth the idea that rather than committing suicide, Van Gogh was murdered. Traveling with kids?  They’ll want to read  van Gogh and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anhold.Unknown-4

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Vincent Van Gogh in St. Remy, France”

  1. I think everything published made a bunch of sense.
    However, think on this, suppose you were to create a
    awedsome post title? I am not saying your information isn’t good., but what if you added something to maybe grab people’s attention?
    I mean Vincent Van Gogh in St. Remy, France | Off The Beaten Page Travel is a little plain.

    You might look at Yahoo’s front page and note how they
    write news headlines to grab people interested.
    You might add a video or a pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve got to say.

    Just my opinion, it could make you website a little livelier.

Tell Me What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s