Today’s post is the first part of a small tribute to Vincent van Gogh and focuses on his period in the Provence town of Arles.
It is a mix of photos I have taken back in March 2009 and paintings that van Gogh painted while in Arles, with minimal commentary.
Arles is a small town in Provence, where van Gogh spent 15 months, from February 1888 to May 1889.
I start from the central square, Place du Forum, celebrated by van Gogh in his painting “Cafe Terasse on Place de Forum, Arles”. The painter was a frequent guest of the Cafe, with Gauguin.
The Arles hospital where van Gogh was hospitalized for a short time is today a public university building.
Its is a quiet place, that seems to have stood still in the passage of time.
Arles is a nice town, where people create beauty even in small things. Yellow.
The houses in the center of town are well maintained. Blue.
Van Gogh saw this beauty and delivered it as a powerful and yet moving picture. The ever present yellow, is contrasting with the cool blue.
The Rhone, the river that crosses Arles, one of the most important rivers in France, is seen in the photo in one of the most beautiful passages.
Van Gogh gave his interpretation in one of the most spectacular night paintings. Starry night over the Rhone.
No tribute to the Arles period can be considered acceptable without the sunflowers. I chose for today’s post the painting that you can see in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, as I really like the way the light pale blue brightens the picture and somehow breaks the endless introspective nature of the subject.
P.S. Now that the article is completed, I realized that with the exclusion of the Cafe, all other paintings are basically an interplay between yellow and blue.