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Van Gogh in Arles, France

  • 20 Feb 1888 - 8 May 1889
Vincent lived in Arles in the South of France for more than a year. He experienced great productivity there before suffering a mental breakdown.

Vincent moved to Arles on 20 February 1888. After two years in Paris, he was tired of the bustle and demands of city life and longed for the sunshine and vibrant colours of the south. Upon arrival in Arles, Vincent took a room at the hotel-restaurant Carrel, and later, one at Café de la Gare. In early September, he settled into the Yellow House, which he had begun using as a studio on 1 May.

Vincent was highly productive during this period and made numerous paintings and drawings in and around Arles. He developed an expressive, individual painting style characterised by bold colours and dynamic brushstrokes. In Arles, he met the artists Eugène Boch, Dodge MacKnight and Christian Mourier-Petersen and befriended Joseph Roulin, the postal official at the train station. The artist Paul Gauguin came to join him in October, and they worked together in Arles for two months.

In late December, Vincent suffered a psychosis during which he cut off part of his ear and handed it to a prostitute. Gauguin returned to Paris soon afterward. Vincent was admitted to hospital and discharged on 7 January. In late January and February, however, he suffered two more attacks and he returned to hospital for a longer stay. On 8 May 1889, Vincent left Arles to be voluntarily committed to a psychiatric institution in Saint-Rémy de Provence

Existing, accessible
Existing, not accessible
No longer existing

Locations in


Marije Vellekoop, Roelie Zwikker
Vincent van Gogh, tekeningen, deel 4: Arles, Saint-Rémy, Auvers-sur-Oise
Amsterdam, 2007

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