During his first two months in Arles, Vincent stayed in a room at the Carrel hotel and restaurant, owned by Albert Carrel and his wife, Cathérine Carrel-Garcin. The hotel was a two-storey building with a small roof terrace and a first-floor balcony. Shortly after arriving in Arles, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo:
With a renewed desire to work, Vincent produced three studies in his first three days in Arles: An old woman of Arles, Landscape with Snow and View of a Butcher’s Shop. They heralded the productive period that would follow.
Soon after his arrival in Arles, Vincent began to complain about the hotel where he was staying and working: he said he constantly felt as if he was being swindled and overcharged and claimed he was never served decent food. The owner, for his part, complained that Vincent’s painting materials took up too much room. After a difference of opinion regarding payment, Vincent left the Carrel hotel on 7 May and took a room at the Café de la Gare. The previous hotelier kept his possessions but was ordered in court to return them. Vincent had also begun renting a room in the “Yellow House” for use as a studio on 1 May. He later recalled his unhappiness at the Carrel hotel and said his health had suffered because of the bad food and wine, which he called “real poison”.