Saint Rémy de Provence -in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh#2


Self-Portrait, Saint-Rémy, late-August, 1889, original painting in Musee d’Orsay, Paris

After time in Arles, Vincent voluntarily went to the Saint- Paul de Mausole, a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy de Provence. He did not feel well, for some period of time he was even unable to paint. However, the drill of an asylum helped him to improve his health condition… for a while.

He wrote a lot of letters to his brother Theo, where he described his feelings & emotions : (..)“I’ve been here almost a whole month, not one single time have I had the slightest desire to be elsewhere; just the will to work again is becoming a tiny bit firmer”(..)


The room of Vincent van Gogh in an asylum

Vincent has also described the day to day habits:”(…) Now I take a bath twice a week and stay in it for 2 hours, then my stomach is infinitely better than a year ago, so I only have to continue, as far as I know(…)”

bathroom in psychiatric hospital Saint- Paul de Mausole

On his good days, he often painted in the institution’s walled garden and he was later allowed to work outside the hospital too.

patio of asylum of Saint- Paul de Mausole
part of a walled garden

Vincent was exceptionally productive at Saint-Rémy, where he completed around 150 paintings in the space of a year.

Irises, Saint-Rémy: May 1889 original painting in Getty Center, L.A
Starry Night & Francois:))


Starry Night, Saint-Rémy: June 1889, original in The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Vincent Van Gogh Bedroom in Arles, original painting in Musee d’Orsay, Paris

This is his bedroom in Arles, not in Saint Rémy de Provence, however, he painted it during his stay at the hospital.

After visiting the asylum, we have sighted the city…


the place where I bought my favourites tapenades (product of Provence)
Street of St Rémy de Provence where Vincent painted The Road Menders


Vincent & I :))




source:  http://www.vggallery.com and


Arles. In the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh#1


White Flowers with Blue background by Vincent van  GoghBührle Collection Zürich

Arles is a city in Provence, south part of France. I’m not sure if you know it but Arles is a Roman ancient city and also a place where Vincent van Gogh created numerous paintings including famous Café Terrace at Night. Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles relatively short period of time- just 15months. He suffered mental illness (probably bipolar disorder) from which he cut off part of his ear. After few short visits to a hospital in Arles, he decided to go to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

Café Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh

I have to admit that Arles charmed us not only by a famous painter but also by their own heritage: an ancient rural city of Roman Imperium.

Place de la République with Mairie d’Arles (town hall) & Obélisque

Formerly a 17th century Carmelite Convent, Julius Caesar is now a   5*hotel with décor designed by Christian Lacroix…


Walking around we found that an ancient theatre…


….is still in use! The new stage has been built & lights were added; this is something which I have never seen before, even in Greece. It surprises me, but on the other hand, it is very practical. What for built new theatre if previous one is in relatively good condition?


Théâtre antique d’Arles

Roman Amphitheatre is also in constant use. Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The bank of the Rhône river …

Rhone River in Arles

..where Vincent painted Starry Night Over the Rhone

Starry Night Over the Rhône by Vincent van Gogh

Following his steps, I came to Café Terrace:



Place where Van Gogh stayed in Arles does not exist anymore. It was a small yellow house attached to this building:

la maison de van gogh

We have visited local marché as well. The market in Arles is one of the biggest in France.


After few days in Arles, we went to Saint Rémy de Provence but this story I will describe it in my next post.