Van Gogh committed suicide at 37 following years of mental illness and poverty. In just over a decade as an artist, he created some 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. His works include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork. He helped lay the foundations of modern art. Several of his most famous works were created in Arles so of course this had to be a stop for us.
Arles trades on Van Gogh’s name but you will actually find little of him in Arles. The buildings in his paintings have disappeared over time. The Van Gogh walk will take you to the scenes of some of his most famous paintings but do not expect to see much. A bank now occupies the spot of the house he briefly shared with Gaugin. Still, it is fun to walk in the same spots once frequented by the great artist.
A few spots do remain intact and you may recognize them from these photos.
Arles is home to the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation which is worth a visit. It holds 8 paintings but these are on loan from a Swiss Foundation. We enjoyed an incredible Alice Neel exhibition with some 70 of her works. If you want to see Van Gogh paintings then go to Amsterdam.